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Melvin "Vin" Magaly

Tranquility, man. Just breathe it in and let the rest go.

0 · 834 views · located in Magus Grex School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

a character in “Magus Grex School of Witchcraft and Wizardry”, as played by missjmiles


Melvin "Vin" Magaly


Basic Info

Name: Melvin Magaly "You can just call me 'Vin,' man, it's easier."
Age: 15
Gender: Male
House: Ferre
Birthplace: San Diego, California
Wand: Length: 13'', Wood: Pine, Core: Unicorn Tail Hair, Flexibility: Springy
Patronus:A horse
Animagus Form:Small, fluffy owl with his same lazy-ish left eye

  • Surfing/Outdoor sports in general
  • Music
  • Playing Bass
  • Les Claypool (Badass bassist from the 90s)
  • Vieo games
  • Relaxing/chilling/Hanging out outside in the sunlight
  • Sweets (chocolates, ice cream, Bertie Botts, etc.)
  • People who know how to party and how to chill!
  • Eyes
  • Torrey Pines Beach

  • Ticks, Mosquitos (any blood sucking bugs)
  • Deadlines/Curfews/Time Constraints
  • Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
  • Low-tide
  • "Fun killers"
  • Breakfast foods
  • Getting low scores in anything
  • Books


Unlike his sister, Myra, Vin is extremely outgoing and laid back. Most of his muggle friends would describe him as a "hippie or stoner without the drugs." He has his secrets, as anyone does, but he's mostly an open book. He doesn't tend to seek people out, but his benevolent nature tends to draw people in. Due to his relaxed attitude, he has many friends. He can roll with the punches and fight back when he needs to, but would much rather kill with kindness. He's extremely articulate, having inherited the brilliance of his family, and is much faster to talk through a situation than to let it come to blows of any kind. Even so, it's very rare that Vin ever finds himself in a confrontation because he's just an amenable guy. He's the type of guy who can see the forest through the trees while admiring each tree individually. He really doesn't sweat the small stuff, mostly because he's so easygoing about most situations. He's not one for organized sports like Quodpot, but you an always catch him surfing, hiking, mountain biking, etc. in his free time. He loves the outdoors and everything that has to do with it (except some specific bugs). Vin shares his sister's quirky sense of humor and gives in to his goofy side every now and then, depending on the "feel" of the room and the people he's with. A bit of a fly on the wall, he's able to blend with many different people from different backgrounds (mostly because he's completely nondiscriminatory). Vin is very friendly and energetic and enjoys being able to spend time with people "just taking in each other's energies." He tends to be rather protective over his "little" sister because he cherishes her above anyone else, having the strong bond that only twins can have or understand. He excels in his classes, due to his natural intelligence, but is always looking for non-educational challenges. Currently, he's working on becoming an animagus. If he's not surfing or outdoors, you can always find him on the green or in the Ferre commons jamming to his headphones or practicing his bass. His favorite songs right now? Amanitas by Les Claypool or White Blank Page by Mumford and Sons.


Vin was born to full-blood wizard Allen Magaly and non-magical Vree Wittun. His parents met and fell in love when Allen was on vacation one weekend just after having graduated from a wizarding school in Canada. They were married shortly thereafter and 2 years later Vin was born, along with his twin sister Myra. He grew up in a mixed-wizardry home, with a slight knowledge of his father's origins and backgrounds, but mostly just attending non-magical schools his mother had attended as a young child. Born and raised in San Diego, California, Vin spent much of his time outdoors, and grew to love it more than anything. He became an avid surfer, snowboarder and mountain biker, along with picking up various other outdoor skills. He also grew to really enjoy the underground music scene and his tastes have become rather eclectic.

Melvin was always a bit closer to his mother than his father, having never shown any manifestation of wizardry before his eleventh birthday. His mother, also an outdoors-y person, would take Vin out on all her favorite trails or surf spots when Myra and Allen were off learning about magical things. He had always been aware of his wizarding blood, but it didn't bother him that his sister was magical and he was not. It was what it was, and there was nothing Vin could do about it so he didn't see a point in letting it phase him. Instead, he threw himself into other interests, like the bass guitar. He picked it up when he was 7 and hasn't stopped practicing since. Now, he's come a far way and his dream is to have a jam session with Les Claypool some day. Vin admired Myra's abilities and would egg her on to try moving things or creating things. Myra always followed along, Vin being her best friend and more of the leader. Every now and then they'd get in trouble (like the time they made the garbage disposal explode all over the baby-sitter they didn't like very much) but generally their parents took all their mutually planned pranks in stride.

On the day of Myra's and Vin's 11th birthday, Myra was wandering back and forth in front of the door morosely, her disappointment becoming more and more clear on her face as the letter's arrival seemed dismal. At first, he'd joined in with his parent's gentle teasing of the poor girl, but Vin's heart had broken in half for his sister when their parents had finally, smilingly, announced that it was time for their birthday dinner. It was as thought he blow that hit her had hit her as well. He saw the tears welling up in her eyes and knew he had to do something. Just as he was devising a plan to create a fake invitation for her, somehow get her into the school through a loophole, she had let out a strangled but excited sob. Looking up, he saw that her plate had been set with a letter, not food, and he immediately brightened. His little sister would get to go to the school after all! He was so elated for her that he barely noticed when Allen's hand clapped him on the shoulder, and, with an extremely warm and tender look in his eye, handed Vin a matching letter. Confused, Vin looked at his mother questioningly. "Looks like you've got some catching up to do," she replied lovingly acknowledging Myra, "I'm juts so proud of both of you!"

In his first year at Magus Grex, Vin had a blast and was surprised to find he was as adept at magic as his sister was. He'd never experienced any magic before and every day was a new adventure and challenge for him. He was eager to learn and was always trying out new 'tricks' whenever he could. He constantly pushed himself harder and asked questions in class whenever he wanted to know more, but luckily his laid back and seemingly uncaring demeanor kept students from being too annoyed by him. Contrarily, many students migrated towards him, pulled in by his friendly aura, and he befriended most. He always tried to get people to chat with Myra or vice versa, as he spent a lot of time around her, but she remained quiet and shy. When people started calling her a bookworm and a snob, causing her to cry, Vin would step in and "take matters into his own hands" by running mental circles around the bullies, and standing up for his sister. Especially after the bullying of Myra calmed down into their second year, he would spend most of his afternoons surfing or outdoors, depending on the weather, and (while he seemed lazy and detached) was constantly paying attention to and reading up on the wizarding world. He's found that his best and favorite classes are Transfiguration, Defense Against the Dark Arts and History of Magic. He finds the world of magic extremely enjoyable.

Eventually he stumbled upon some third years talking about their first lesson about Animagi and was extremely intrigued. Listening as best he could to any passing third years, he picked up some information and kept it handy. The idea consumed him whenever he was out surfing or in working on bass and eventually he began the process of becoming one. He worked hard and was finally able to achieve his goal. He registered right away, not one to break extreme rules (though bending little ones was fine). He still needs a wand to transform, but he's getting to the point where he won't.


Do you know much about the Harry Potter Universe?:I've read all the books, seen all the movies, and done my fair share of online information seeking/reading.
How often do you get online?:Daily, if not every other day.
How often can we expect you to be able to post?:I'll try for daily. :)
Password: Copper Cauldron

So begins...

Melvin "Vin" Magaly's Story

Myra Magaly

…but, he’s so small…” Myra slowed down a little as she heard Naire’s footsteps following her and Chopstick’s little hoots. How can an owl be so darn cute? She smiled softly to herself. Turning to Naire as he fell in step with her, “You know I’d never really ask you to burn a picture you’d taken, right? You’re too talented. It’d be a waste.” They entered Magus Rex and Myra enjoyed the quiet the building was taking on as students found their ways to their beds. This large building was so comforting to her, even with her bumpy start. It was like she knew she belonged.

As if he could hear her thoughts, Naire stated, “So sleep is soon to come. It’ll be nice to get back in the beds here. It’s always been a second home,” Myra nodded agreeably, “to everyone I’d say. At least sleep’ll come easy.

Myra had half a smile as she bumped him with her shoulder, “Yeah, one of the only things that comes easy living here. But you’re right, Near, I feel so safe here, especially because I have you…” She trailed off as she caught sight of Vance and Lee walking out of the great hall. Her chest got tight and her body tensed, momentarily stunned. Myra let the breath she hadn't known she'd been holding go as the boys didn't take notice of her or Naire. She shot a glance at Naire, to see if he'd seen her reaction. She hadn't shared her thoughts on Vance's new attitude yet, and wasn't sure if she should. She also wasn’t sure of exactly what emotion had coursed through her as she'd seen the two Arietem's, and she didn’t have time to think on it more because Kaplan had turned and started heading the direction they’d just come from. Not one for making noise, he uncharacteristically mewed happily as he trotted up to the jeaned pants of a very familiar figure. Although Kaplan adored Myra, he was very close to Vin as well. Myra turned and stopped, giving her brother a once over she tapped Naire’s shoulder and cocked a hip. With a smirk that announced victory she crossed her arms and simply stated, “Vin, I told you so.”

Vin Magaly

“Hey, thanks man!” Vin drawled casually, smiling as he gingerly stepped off the rickety boat that had brought him to the island. Caretaker Wicks gave him a steely-eyed glare as he pulled the small rowboat by it’s rope to the dock.

“This was no gift, Magaly. 10 points from Ferre and you just arrived,” Wicks barked at him, “You’ve missed the dinner. Head straight to your commons. I don’t want to see you out and about tonight, you hear?”

Woops… Finn’s not gonna be happy with me for that one. Vin thought of his pal and his insatiable urge to win house cup for a moment, then shrugged. “Alright then.” He grabbed his duffle bag with all his clothes in it. It wasn’t the first time Vin’d missed the cruise over, and it wouldn’t be the last, he knew. He didn’t understand why Wicks always came and picked him up though, he was willing to wait until it got dark and fly over. Vin may not have been as good at flying as Myra was, but he wasn’t inept. With a sly smile at Wicks he said, “I’m just gonna stop by the kitchen on my way up there, kay?” Before Wicks could reply, Vin had placed his headphones in and pressed play on his MP3 player. Give him all the magic in the world, Vin just couldn’t help but love technology and it’s ease of use. No remembering silly Latin words for things… then again, that did come in handy every now and then.

Vin pulled his hood up over his head and, sauntering up the hill towards the school, couldn’t help but bob his head the bass beat of the song in his ears. A little Soundgarden tonight, “The Day I Tried to Live.” He smiled and waved at random passerby, knowing full well they hadn’t noticed he was gone during the feast, but that they’d still be surprised that he wasn’t wearing his robes and was carrying his belongings. He shot a large wave to Lloyd and Lyle, then entered the huge front doors of Magus Rex. He noticed Naire and Myra walking up ahead and a lazy smile crossed his face. His sister had an “I told you so!” waiting for him for sure. She’d tried in her most non-confrontational way to get him to skip the beach and make it to the dock on time, but god those waves!!

The swell had been perfect and Derek, his best muggle friend, had promised to keep an eye on the time so that Vin wouldn’t be late to his “flight to boarding school.” An hour after the cruise had surely left him behind, Derek and Vin had finally called it a day and gotten some In ‘N’ Out burgers before heading to their respective homes. Good ol’ Mums and Daddy-o hadn’t been too pleased with him and sent an owl off right away. An hour after that Vin had found himself sitting face to face with an extremely grumpy and gruff caretaker as he had worked out the chords on his bass to a Black Sabbath song. Occasionally he’d paused to try and chat with Wicks, they’d had the long ride many times before and Vin had a soft spot in his heart for the angry-esque guy, if only because his constant scowl was amusing. Wicks had only ever grunted in response, … or was it that he was just over-exerting with the boat. Maybe I should have helped? Vin chuckled softly to himself then stooped to pet Kaplan firmly along his spine and tail. “Hey cat daddy!” He looked up as Myra smiled at him with that gleam in her eye, “Here it comes! ‘I told you so!’” he said simultaneously with her, removing his right head phone. “Hey Harth-man!” He held his hand up for a high-five. "How's the portfolio coming along for the year? I'm sure you've already captured all the drama-rama of the first feast." Vin let his voice get low and conspiratorial, a mischievous grin on his face, "Have you heard? Houses are intermingling." He looked at himself, then looked at the too Vulpes, "Wait! Aren't you two... Vulpes? Our friendship is doomed." He laughed softly to himself.

#, as written by Skwidge
Lloyd Vrancing

Lloyd flashed him a small smile, shrugging nonchalantly in a slightly forgiving manner. I'm sure he didn't mean it like that.... Dorremoon's head tilted upwards as she watched the girl walking a little strangely. Her paws hit the dirt silently as they neared the door. "Oh yeah, Naire. I think he was out here, not sure though. But you know him, always so eager to take his pictures. Outside is always one of the best places to do that."

As he rambled along, Lloyd walked quietly through the doors of Magus Grex, her head positioned upwards as her eyes flickered to and fro, taking in the building's architecture. However, inside she was actually quite embarrassed and mortified he had been listening to her play. "Yeah, that's no problem though. I'm sure you were just working hard at more petitions, right?" Her voice was soft, and she had a small smile on her face as she turned back to him.

"Yeah, I had a pretty good summer. Worked at the violin almost a third of my twenty-four hours every day. I also did a bit of hiking, you should have seen where my dad and I went. It was amazing." She nodded softly, sidestepping a few students rushing past. "I'm extremely glad to be back as well. This year is going to be pretty great, I can feel it."

Lloyd paused, waving at Vin as he ran by. "Quodpot, huh? I'm sure you're going to have a great time! Just be sure to practice a lot." She smiled once more, reaching the great steps to the Common Rooms. "But you're going to have to-" But she was cut off as he finished what she was going to say. She nodded with a small chuckle. "Yeah, you're going to have to find someone to fill in for you.

She laughed quietly. "What with you being in the papers, I don't think I could tell you, even if something exciting did happen." She set her hand on the railings of the stairs, but spied Myra, Vin, and Naire again. "Well, there's Naire. I guess you should probably go join the conversation. I'll meet you up in the Common Room, or see you tomorrow. Night."

Lloyd quickly scaled the stairs up to Ferre's Common Room, leaving Lyle to whatever it was Lyle did. Dorremoon silently padded after her before catching up and walking beside the girl.

Naire Harth

Naire chuckled lazily. "'Course I know that, Myra. I was just playing along." He smirked at her, ruffling her hair with that smile of his. He continued to walk, stuffing his hands into his pockets and fiddling around with his wand. She then bumped him and he flashed her a teasing frown. "Yeah, well. It's what I do." He grinned cheekily at her, scratching Chopstick gently above the right wing.

He then noted her sudden change in body language, and nudged her with his shoulder. "Ah please, it's just Lee and uh, Vance." He rubbed the back of his neck with a lopsided, comical grin.

He then turned, hearing the voice of Kaplan. He let out a warm chuckle, waving at Vin. He paused though, looking back at Myra with a confused appearance. "Wait, wha'?" He then looked back at Melvin, finally taking note of his belongings. "Oh, miss the ship again?" He said in a faked Swedish accent, mimicking Myra and put his hand on his less prominent hip, a mocking pout on his face.

He let out a laugh, dropping the act and meeting his high five. "Good to see ya, Vin." Chopstick hooted his own cheery greeting, flapping his wings for a second. "Dude, cut me some slaaackk. The year's only begun. I did get some good shots of what you missed." He stuck his tongue out, arching his eyebrows mockingly with a smile and a snicker.

Naire's eyes suddenly widened, and he put his hand to his mouth with a sarcastic gasp. "Nooo! We must tell the presses!" The boy then turned and began to run forward slightly in slow-motion, over-exaggerating his movements. He then rolled his eyes, putting his hands back into his pockets and leaning against the stair railings. He then saw Lloyd and Lyle making their way over.

Once more he removed his hand from a pocket and waved once towards their direction before turning back to the twins. "Aww, only for a coupe hours a day, Melv!"

#, as written by throne
Lyle Brightham – So Confused!

Lyle nodded profusely. Naire did like taking pictures, and Lyle couldn’t really get upset about how inaccessible it made him sometimes. After all, a lot of those pictures wound up in The Scrivener, and Lyle was well aware of how crucial pictures were to the success of a paper. People needed them to break up all the columns of letters and words, especially him!

He listened to her recount her summer, grinning incessantly. ”Oh, really? Where did you guys go? I don’t think I’ve ever really been hiking before. Not on purpose anyways. There was that time I got lost outside my grandpa’s house, and wound up wandering in circles for hours, but I don’t think that counts, haha!”

His eyes lit up when he spotted Vin waving, and he practically threw his arm out of socket returning the gesture. Skip and Scamp, not so fond of the mini-earthquake that his exuberance had subjected them to, made him aware of their displeasure by digging their claws in a bit, almost simultaneously. ”Yeow!” He did an awkward little dance in the aftermath of it as they scurried about, repositioning. It didn’t hurt so much as it surprised him. What had Lloyd said? Oh!

His brow knit up, lending him a bit of a resemblance to his ferret’s as suspicion showed itself on his features. Did she really think he’d go and print something secret she told him? No, she couldn’t think that, he would never! He decided she was joking, and relaxed a bit, but then she made her fairly hasty exit, barely giving him time to say good-bye himself. Huh. It didn’t make much sense. It wasn’t like she didn’t get along with Naire or his sister or Vin, as far as he knew. His tongue poked out from between his lips, a sure sign that he was thinking hard about the conundrum of his friend’s behavior.

With his teaspoon-sized attention span, Lyle didn’t have much of a chance of figuring it out with two of his best friends approaching, along with Myra, who Lyle actually found sort of intimidating, what with her being smart, and better than him at Quodpot, and a girl. ”Ohheyguys!” He said the words so fast that they sort of bled together, and even though they were nearly upon him, he darted forward to meet them, beaming. ”I was looking for you!” he exclaimed to Naire. Fortunately, they were outdoors… otherwise someone might have had to tell him to use his indoors voice. His eyes flicked from Naire to Myra to Vin, and his cheeks grew just a bit scarlet. Skip and Scamp poked their heads out of his sleeves, sensing something was up, but then quickly engaged in a tactical withdrawal when they spotted Kaplan.

Justin Hardy – Totally Not a Jerk

”Well, you are the most complicated guy I know,” he replied to Flint with a brand of scathing dryness that the other boy would have no trouble interpreting. More or less, it said this: You’re getting off easy, boy-o, because I’m actually a little irked about the sudden cancellation and tonight's disappearing but I know you would only do it for good reason, and if you don’t want me to ruin you in front of these two girls, you’d very much better come clean before we go to bed. In a nutshell. Bliss and Summer would likely be unaware of the subtext of the tone of voice; he was a snarky bastard almost constantly, but rarely employed it with Flint. It would also probably show that Justin, in his own contrived way, was somewhat hurt by the secrecy.

Just like that, the bit of subtle moodiness passed, and he was grinning, nodding in reply to Summer, offering the Betterbeers. To Teek, he extended his free arm, offering it as a perch if the owl was so inclined. He wasn’t nearly as good at reading animals as he was people, but Cougar tended to do the same thing when he wanted to roost on the Vulpes bean-pole.

When Garrett went to quaff his vial all at once, Justin reached out and slapped him on the hand. ”Ep ep ep ep. Not the intended mode of use.” He shook his head. ”Three drops in anything but milk or orange soda; four if you’re feeling adventurous. I call it Betterbeer.” He quickly glanced between the two of them, always curious about how his branding was working out. He wasn’t about to let Flint drink it all and turn into some kind of werewolf for who-knew-how-long, but he had no qualms at all letting him grow some mutton chops. Flint could take a joke, he knew well. ”You know, you’re entirely too trusting about drinking stuff I give you. For all you know, that was magical date-rape juice.” He grinned enigmatically as he continued. ”Mmm, the musical number went well. The needs-to-get-laid club didn’t seem to approve, but overall, it was a success.”

He spotted Bliss coming towards them and upnodded to her. The plot thickens! His eyes wound up bulging as she bear-hugged him, and if Teek had alit on his arm, he would somehow manage to keep it extended so that the owl didn’t get crushed in the process. ”Woah there, She-Hulk. Happy to see you too.” He returned the embrace, one-armed and not nearly as fearsomely, and then offered her a vial of Betterbeer as well, repeating his instructions, less the four drops part. ”And I don’t know what place you’re referring to. I was out picking flowers.” He said this, of course, despite the conspicuous absence of any flowers.

He eagerly drank in the slight awkwardness of her greeting Flint and then realizing her sister was there. ”Mmmmhmm. Heading back to the common rooms,” he agreed. Again, Flint would no doubt catch the fact that Justin hadn’t mentioned anything about his just happening upon the two of them exiting the library together. ”Oh, Bliss, how was your summer? Not her,” he added, jerking a thumb towards Summer. ”You know. Your break.”

Vance Abernathy – Not Amused

The desire to physically strike Lee was almost overwhelming when he noticed a certain protuberance, but Vance had the sneaking suspicion that physical violence would have the opposite of its intended effect. Pointedly looking anywhere but at Lee, he did his best to maintain a thin smile. Bellona was particularly smug, so he had a feeling no good could come of whatever this was. A gift, she’d said in the hall. She certainly wasn’t being remotely pleasant, so it couldn’t be a token of affection that he’d have to suffer through accepting graciously. He almost wished it was. It would have been an amusing diversion to see Lee and Bellona claw at each other for a while. When she spoke so dismissively of the Beauregard, he thought his wish might very well come true.

Of course, that was before he noticed the rectangular bit of paper in her hand. An envelope. With his family’s seal. His expression didn’t change in the slightest, even as he ground his teeth together. A missive from Nevaeh, most likely, before her… accident. Even more likely, it contained some tidbit of information that didn’t gel with the story he was selling. It was the only possibility he could think of that he actively needed to worry about, but if it was indeed that…

His attention turned to Lee, in the wake of his whisper and her “request” for privacy. ”I need you to await me in my room, please, since apparently discretion abounds tonight.” His tone could scarcely have been drier, on the final phrase. Being dismissed would surely irk the saucy boy, but then of course, Vance had dismissed him to his bedchamber. He put a mental image of Lee rifling through his undergarments aside, pressing his lips into an even tighter smile. ”This shouldn’t take overly long, and then we’ll be able to speak.”

He hadn’t noticed Wahl even before the Concealing Charm; the boy might as well have been furniture, so far as Vance was concerned. With the spell in place, it would have taken a parade of acromantulas streaming toward the dumpy boy’s seat to call Vance’s attention to him. He was waiting now; waiting to see if Lee would go without a fight, and without upsetting Bellona, whom he did not want too upset at the moment. Just enough, actually, to suit his purposes.

His eyes slipped to the potentially dangerous witch. ”You know,” he drawled, slight amusement flickering in his eyes. ”The common room is an interesting choice for a private conversation. They do call it common for a reason.” Let her think he didn’t suspect anything, for now; after her haughtiness, he had to at least make a semblance of putting her in her place, lest he weaken his position if it came to a negotiation. Plus, it would go a long way towards smoothing things over with Lee for him to witness Vance returning a bit of her trademark bitchiness.

Myra & Melvin Magaly

As Vin and Naire took off in boyish conversatioon, Myra relaxed a little. Naire had definitely been about to ask her something about Lee and Vance, but how does one describe a paralyzing fear of another human being without sounding ridiculous? Or was it fear? Myra’s brow furrowed for a moment, but she decided to cast it off. She and Naire could talk later in the commons or something. Besides, she was currently with the two people she felt utterly and completely safe around, her very protective twin brother and the only other guy Myra felt comfortable and secure around.

Melvin half shrugged at Naire's comment about missing the ship, his own form of “you win some you lose some” via body language.

Dude, cut me some slaaackk,” Myra couldn’t help but internally roll her eyes as Vin brought out the “surfer boy” in Naire while she was reprimanding him. Vin just chuckled warmly at Naire’s mimicked pose of Myra right behind her. She turned just after Naire had stopped making fun of her, completely missing the mockery and Vin shared a lopsided and laughing look with Naire. “The year’s only begun. I did get some good shots of what you missed.” Vin and Myra both chuckled at the face Naire pulled, Myra’s soft soprano giggle like bells above the boy’s lower tones. Still giggling she managed, “I hope you’ve got a picture of that face, it’s the epitome of our evening!”

As Naire turned and slow-mo ran in the opposite direction, Vin scooped up Kaplan (who began to purr contentedly despite being upside down) and continued the ruse, pretending to slow-mo run in the other direction, tucking Kaplan under his arm like a football. Myra, who had somehow become utterly lost in the conversation, was unsure what to do with herself and stood silent and awkward between the too of them. As both boys ended seemingly simultaneously, Naire relaxing back to lean on the stairs and Vin readjusting the cat so that he looked more comfortable, Myra shuffled her feet. Vin chucked her under the chin, “What’s up buttercup? Why so serious?” He looked at her, then threw a questiong glance at Naire, “She been like this all night?” Before Naire could answer Myra just smiled in her dainty way and shook her head, “I’m fine, you two are the odd ones. Antics in the hallways? Really.” Her mock disapproval was ignored by the boys. Vin grabbed Myra, pulling her under his shoulder in a side hug, “Ah sis, I love you.” He kissed her temple, then followed Naire’s gaze as he focused over the twins’ shoulders. Nonchalantly glancing back he smiled cooly and set Kaplan back down as Lyle sauntered toward them

Myra’s smile dropped to that of a polite acquaintance, but Vin clapped him on the shoulder when he arrived, bringing him into the group, “What it do man? How was your summer?” Myra moved to the other side of Vin, to stand between him and Naire and tried her hardest not to fidget with her shoulder bag, a little nervous as the not as familiar male entered the group. “Hi Lyle,” she said in her mellifluous
way. Kaplan intertwined around her ankles.

The large grandfather clock in the hallway chimed at them and Myra bit her lip, It’s way later than I thought it was! And Near and I still have to figure out the riddle before we can even get into the commons. Glancing around, she found that they were the only ones in the hall. Almost inaudibly she mumbled “Uh, you guys it’s kind of getting late…” but it was too quiet to hear over Lyle's excited, "Ohheyguys!" Vin chuckled, and ignored the chiming, “Done any good work towards liberating the elves? I was talking to a witch I met over the summer about it. She was really nice and is a part of some… insert whatever elf saving acronym here. Anyway, I name dropped for ya, she said she’d be in touch. I think her name was… Monika something.” He had a relaxed smile for Lyle, scratching Skip’s head as he was the closer ferret. “Oh, and do Near and I have a story for you to put in The Scrivener.” He winked conspiratorially at Naire. "I was looking for you!" Vin smoothly turned with Lyle to Naire, interested.

Myra, who had gone silent and was blushing slightly, shifted a tiny bit, unsure whether to stay and chat with the boys (who she knew could be at it way past curfew) or get inside. She’d probably end up breaking curfew a lot this year, as she always ended up doing. The one rule she was less conscious of breaking because her love of Quodpot prevailed and she could only ever practice at night, when no one was around and her homework was done. She spared a glance at the hall headed toward the Vulpes Commons.

#, as written by Skwidge
Naire Harth

Naire shrugged, giving up the battle as soon as it started. "Yeah, guess so." He spoke to Melvin, toning in to him missing the ship. His face scrunched up as he frowned. "For your information, I keep myself out of almost all of my pictures. Besides, my faces are only reserved for my friends." With a resolute nod, he stretched fleetingly, his feet shuffling against the floor as he shook his head.

"Nah, I haven't been with her all night, so I don't particularly know. But mainly she's been a good little girl." As he watched Vin pull Myra to himself in a display of affection, Naire cocked his head, a huge grin sprawled across his face, one eyebrow cocked as he splayed his arms out wide. "Yeah, I love ya too, Myra." He then made a move forward to hug her, but then chuckled, putting his hands back in his pockets and leaning once more against the railing.

Naire took a split second to watch Lloyd move past the small group up the stairs. Something seemed slightly off with her, but he didn't linger on it for long. Lyle was demanding his attention as of now.

"Yeah, what'd our little scribe dig up over the months of absence?" Chopstick chirped, hopping onto Naire's shoulder and peering over at Myra with his large eyes before tilting his gaze elsewhere. Particularly up at the stairs to the common rooms. The avian watched the slim silhouette of Lloyd disappear behind the rest of the staircase.

The bird drawled out another hoot, jabbing at Naire's ear. "Yow! Ya little thing." He exhaled at the owl as he flickered from the boy's figure and up the stairs. "Looks like Chopstick is pretty ready for bed." He commented before listening to the others. Almost as soon as he said it, the large clock began to toll, but he stayed to finish their little run in.

Naire chuckled, nodding in agreement to Vin's comment on their little story. "Oh, have you now? Need pictures already? Like I said, give me a wee bit of slack. It's only the beginning of the year!" He flailed his arms in exasperation, then hinted on a smile to show he was kidding. "But really, it is the first day, and I wish not to get in trouble. Lyle, it'll probably have to wait till the morrow, forgive my absence." He grinned again, and took Myra by the elbow. "Night guys."

And with that, he practically dragged Myra along with a short wave to the other two guys, quickly scaling the stones. Once they were out of earshot, he poked her in the side. "Lyle doesn't bite, ya'know." He tsked at her disapprovingly.

Lloyd Vrancing

Lloyd silently hopped from step to step, Dorremoon sharing in her voice and the feline's gaze fixed ahead of her. The torches flickered in the darkness, lighting the way sparsely for the straggling students of the first night.

There was a soft thunk every four steps by the violin case at her thighs, supported by her right hand, her left softly clutching the railings to support herself. She was lost in her thoughts as her figure listlessly continued the ascension. It was no more than going through the motions, having almost little to no realization of doing the actions. And where were her thoughts based? On her relations of course.

She was trying to figure out how she could possibly grow a bit closer to the people she knew while still staying relatively comfortable and herself, but mainly they were on Lyle. Of course they were simply friends, and he didn't show anything other than that, but it was still difficult deciding on what to do about it.

In all honesty, she just wanted this day to be over. Now, she really was excited to be back, but it was probably just the ride over that was making her tired. Not to mention her very uncouth run in with Lyle. Lloyd's thoughts returned to how he had reacted, yet struggled to defend the theory it might have just been chance at the way he reacted.

Lloyd settled that she'd just have to find a new place to practice, further away from the castle. Perhaps she could find a place in the cliffs, like when she went hiking. That'd be ideal for certain. A soft sigh escaped her lips, and then Naire's owl hooted, surprising her. She nearly fell down a few stairs from the response, and the small bird alighted on her violin case, which was then brought to the front of Lloyd's being. "Chopstick." She muttered, remembering the name. That would probably mean that Naire himself was heading up soon. All the more reason to make it to the Ferre painting.

After shaking the case a couple times in attempt to upset the owl's balance, Lloyd finally huffed, stamping her foot on the ground and overturning the case softly. The owl seemed to spill from the object, and flickered off. She sighed with relief, and then walked the final distance with Dorremoon to the common room, whispering the password quietly, and then she slipped inside, heading to bed.

#, as written by throne
Lyle Brightham – Even More Confused!

”Hullo, Myra!” He beamed at her a little shyly, which was… sort of interesting to behold.

Vin’s presence always had an effect on Lyle. Sometimes, most of the time actually, it was almost calming. The other boy’s very zen attitude helped to balance out Lyle’s often overbearing spunkiness. Tonight, though, after months of not seeing his friend, he couldn’t be anything but wildly enthused. ”Yeah actually, I did! I got to meet a free House Elf named Sprogget, and he even let me interview him. It was so interesting, and I’m definitely running it. Maybe I’ll send a copy to Monika if we start writing each other, I’d like that.” That was Lyle; already friends with a girl he’d probably never meet.

He absolutely perked up at the mention of a potential story. ”Oh yeah?” A team of destriers could not have dragged Lyle’s attention away from them at that moment. It was the one loophole in what was probably an undiagnosed case of ADHD; if it involved a story or a cause, Lyle’s latched on like a pitbull, refusing to let go. His eyes darted between Melvin and Naire as he waited for one or the other to spill.

Instead, Naire wound up taking what he said the wrong way, only Lyle was pretty sure that he was only kidding (behavioral cues sometimes eluded him, when they were subtle), then wound up wishing him a goodnight. ”I… just wanted to say hi because I missed you at dinner,” he said softly, sounding rather crestfallen, in fact. ”Good night Naire. Good night Myra.”

Alright. Being mostly brushed off by Lloyd, he could handle. After all, she was a girl, and girls were mysterious and sort of scary sometimes, and he seldom found that anything they did made sense. But when the same thing pretty much happened with Naire, who he thought of as his best mate… well… Lyle wasn’t at all sure what to make of it. Had he done something wrong? Was there something gross stuck in his teeth? He discretely wormed his tongue along them, except it wasn’t really so discrete and probably just wound up looking very strange to anyone who happened to notice it. He didn’t find anything, so he was at a bit of a loss to figure out what exactly was going on.

He looked to Vin for guidance. Vin was good for that. The uncertainty in Lyle’s young eyes was plain to see. ”Did I… do something wrong?” he asked, on the verge of being actually upset. Of course, Vin didn’t know that Lloyd had sped off as well, so it might not make much sense that Lyle was taking it so seriously. He was probably overreacting anyway, but then again, Lyle wasn’t so good at just reacting. His energy usually wound up undeniably optimistic, but when he did find himself moving toward despair, the results were no less manic. Worrying his lip, he waited for the advice he knew would set everything aright once more.

Vance Abernathy – He May In Fact Have a Soul

Vance was indescribably relieved when Lee left without a fight. That left him to focus every mote of his self-control on not laughing at Bellona while he slowly strangled the life out of her. Could she really be this inept? I’ve been overestimating this girl for years. It was everything he could do not to simply stare at her slack-jawed while she enacted her buzzing spell. An appropriate lecture regarding discretion immediately wrote itself up in his mind. People might not know what was being said, but they did know that something was, and that it was either important or incriminating since it was being hidden away beyond a curtain of white noise. With the number of nosey meddlers running around the school, almost anyone bearing witness to this little scene meant that by breakfast half the student body would be aware of a clandestine conversation that had occurred between Vance and Bellona.

Then, impossibly, it got even worse. He recognized his grandfather’s handwriting straight off. His gloved hand curled into a fist reflexively, and his eyes danced across the parchment as he quickly read the missive. When he was through, he released a breath that had somehow become pent up in his lungs. Bellona was looking at him, almost eagerly, and she would likely be disappointed by the reaction she’d been waiting for. Aside from his initial tension, he didn’t even look startled, and it wasn’t even because he was forcing himself to remain composed. The instant he’d read the flattery, and particularly after reading the end of it, he knew he had very little to fear from Bellona or this letter.

It was little more than his grandfather making a threat, proving a point. If he was capable of communicating with Bellona, he was just as capable of communicating with more savvy followers who were already in place at the school. He’d likely only chosen Bellona because he didn’t want to reveal any of those operatives… and if he were indeed planning to recruit Bellona, he could gladly have her after this display, and Vance wouldn’t even break a sweat. No doubt he’d expected exactly what she’d gone and done, which was exactly what he’d wanted: for her to show the letter to Vance.

He shifted on his overstuffed chair, leaning forward a bit and making direct eye contact with her. His movements were obvious, intended to highlight how very serious he was about to be.

”Bellona,” he intoned. His voice was a glacial river, smooth and cold. It was a tone that he seldom used, so seldom that it might well be the actual timbre of his voice, the one that came naturally when he wasn’t maintaining his courtliness. ”We are not friends, but imagine for the duration of what I am about to say that we are, and heed my advice.” He gave her a half-second to consider that before continuing. With his leaning forward, he’d adjusted his arms a bit, bringing his mechanical hand close to his wand. Just in case.

”This letter was a test which you have failed. It instructs you not to speak of it, and yet here we are. It even expresses doubt in me, and yet, I am the one you’re sharing it with. If you hope to become my grandfather’s pawn, you’ll need to work on your obedience.” He wasn’t done.

”Furthermore, in the event that you are ever again contacted by a powerful individual who you have little knowledge of and you aren’t sure what to make of it… take that as a sign that you are not ready to move in such circles. Or perhaps I’m wrong, and you’re merely excited and eager to share the prestige of being written by a doddering old man who happens to share my surname. I’m afraid that’s even worse, even more indicative of how unprepared you are for what replying to that letter would entail.”

He sat back again, to signify that he was for the most part finished, and also to bright his hand right atop the pocket his wand was concealed in. ”Burn the letter and forget that you ever read it, Bellona. If I were your friend, that is what I would tell you. I do not particularly care if I’m being cruel, but I don’t mean to be. You have little reason to trust me, but if you become more involved with this than you already are, I’m afraid that I can’t be bothered to offer you any more protection than this warning.”

He rose to his full height smoothly, drawing his wand but doing nothing with it, just yet. ”Burn the letter, Bellona. That instruction you should very much follow.”

Myra Magaly

Myra hid a smile for the ever-decisive little owl. She loved Chopstick almost as much as she loved Kaplan, and when he took off up the stairs towards the commons, she was more than grateful. Vin had prompted Lyle into an excited and quick narrative about a house-elf that Myra only half-followed as she picked up Kaplan, rubbing him behind the ears for comfort.

Oh, have you now? Need pictures already? Like I said, give me a wee bit of slack. It’s only the beginning of the year!” Naire’s honest nature made it hard to pick out when he was joking on occasion, but Myra knew he was now and giggled quietly to herself. She stopped, though, as she watched Lyle’s face go from excited to slightly crestfallen. Poor thing, he must not have picked up on it. She wanted to pipe in and explain that Vin and she had just been talking about pictures and giving Near hell, but she wasn’t really able to make any audible sound come out. Instead, she just chewed on her cheek in small concern toward Lyle.

But really, it is the first day, and I wish not to get in trouble. Lyle, it’ll probably have to wait till the morrow, forgive my absence.” Myra’s whole body radiated warmth as Near swooped her arm under his and pulled her around and up the stairs, escorting her back to the Vulpes commons. Elated, she let Kaplan drop softly to his feet next to her, tossing an apologetic but loving smile over her shoulder to her twin and Lyle, calling quietly, “Have a good night gentlemen!” She relaxed into Naire’s arm, whispering, “You are my absolute hero!”

They walked arm in arm in silence for a moment when Naire spoke up, “Lyle doesn’t bite, ya’know.” She rolled her eyes and half-smirked half-smiled at his pointing out of her nerves. Sighing, she looked over at him, “I know, Near, but I can’t help it. Guys make me nervous.” She playfully pinched his arm. “I mean, Lyle’s my brother’s favorite, but he’s a guy, so…” She mocked a zipper across her mouth and ‘locked’ it, throwing the key down the hall. “It’s like I can’t find my voice sometimes, does that make sense?”

When they had finally climbed all of the steps into the tall tower were the Vulpes dorms were, she turned to him “Who’s turn is it this time?” Myra asked with a grin, referencing their long-standing tradition of trading off who would guess the riddle to get in. It changed weekly, so they both always got to be mentally stimulated. As they turned onto the hidden hall where the entryway came into view they reached the painting of the scholar. He looked up and peered at them squinting. “Ah, the Boy with the Camera and the Bookworm. How are we this year?” His gravely voice came out and Myra knew it had been a while since the last Vulpes’ had entered the Commons, he’d obviously been studing a while. “We’re well, Didimus, have you had a fine summer?” She answered for the both of them.

Vin Magaly

Good ol’ Lyle, Vin thought to himself as his bubbly partner in crime started rambling. He was such good energy, it was difficult for Vin not to smile around him. Yep, definitely the yin to my yang. While Lyle could cause more excitement in Vin, and Vin could coax the calm out of Lyle, it seemed tonight they were both on their own tracks. Vin stuffed his hands in pockets and leaned back on the wall. Enjoying the company, he watched and listened for a bit.

Vin’s chuckle rumbled in his chest more than flowed out as he let Naire’s photos joke set in. Noticing Myra’s concerned look to Lyle he turned and saw his buddy hadn’t really gotten it, and softly punched him on the arm. “Lighten up, Near’s just giving you hell.” Vin winked, emphasizing that all was in good fun. Vin then turned and smiled cooly as Naire excused himself and tugged Myra with him. He waved lovingly at his sister as she shot a glance back. “Night-o guys, sleep like rocks,” he drawled out.

I… just wanted to say hi because I missed you at dinner. Good night Naire. Good night Myra.” Vin looked side-long at Lyle, he could hear more than see or feel the small despair that his pal was feeling. Looking after Naire and Myra one last time he grabbed his bag off the ground again and chucked it over his shoulder. “We should probably head back to Ferre anyhow.” He scratched Scamp now, who had poked his head out of the same area Skip had been. “Hey buddy. Sorry, didn’t mean to ignore.” Then Vin turned and headed down the hall toward Ferre.

After a step or two of not hearing Lyle either speak or move, Vin turned back around, non-chalantly leaning against the wall again, one foot crossed over the other. “What up, bra?”

“[b]Did I… do something wrong?” Vin’s eyebrows creased into a small frown as he saw how upset his friend had become, seemingly out of nowhere. Quickly going over events in his mind, Vin remembered Lloyd passing and leaving Lyle with them, then how Lyle’d asked for Naire almost immediately, and then (light bulb) Naire left almost as quickly. Besides Lyle always being awkward around Vin’s twin, he was confident he knew exactly what had happened in Lyle’s mind.

“Dude, don’t sweat it. It’s the first night back and you know how Myra is, always the stickler for curfews. Near probably just picked up on that and was doing her a solid, y’know? Getting the girl to bed before she got all antsy and weirded out.” Lyle had begun worrying his lip. “Alright, slow that mind down.” Vin moved forward and placed his hands on Lyle’s shoulders, “Lloyd’s an odd one, she probs just forgot her meddy’s today, and Naire definitely didn’t mean to give you the cold shoulder. You know him better than that, he wouldn’t ever do that to you, ya dig?” Vin gave Lyle an extremely warm and reassuring smile, then threw his left arm around Lyle’s shoulders and started maneuvering them down the hall toward Ferre. “Let’s just get some shut eye.”

#, as written by throne
Lyle Brightham – Now Feeling Silly

Sometimes, Lyle felt like he didn’t appreciate Vin enough, which led to spurts of him appreciating him too much, and then the whole cycle would just start anew. Vin was always there for him- helping him understand when Naire was only joking, for instance, or providing a calm sounding board for some of his more frenetic and discombobulated ideas. Right about then, he couldn’t appreciate the other teenager more.

Even the ferrets liked Vin. They were fickle creatures, often torturing Lyle for what seemed like the sheer ferrety joy of it, but even if it was furtive, they always seemed to come out to play when he was around. Scamp ducked back into Lyle’s robes shortly after the scritching. For his part, Lyle shuffled along after Vin toward the common room. It really was best to just call it a night.

Both ferrets scurried lower when a pair of hands were suddenly resting on Lyle’s shoulders, helping to ground him. He slowly looked up at his friend, since they were basically face-to-face, and listened to the other boy. Alright, slow that mind down. It wasn’t until he heard the words that he consciously realized how all over the place his thoughts were. It was a little like people who existed in a perpetual state of messiness but knew, somehow, where everything was. The difference was that Lyle didn’t quite know where everything was. He had to stumble around a bit, dishevel things even further, in order to find the thoughts he was looking for sometimes amidst the dross.

Vin was right, of course. Well, not about Lloyd taking medicine, at least he didn’t know if she did. Maybe that was the secret she might have alluded to earlier? He had to force himself back on track. People did kind of consider Lloyd odd, but to Lyle, she was just Lloyd. He had no right to go around calling anyone odd, strange, or weird after all. And he was even more right about Naire. At least, Lyle hopes he was. If anyone other than Vin had said it, he’d still be worried, but then…

Well, it was really hard to worry when Vin slung an arm around his narrow shoulders. Lyle felt better immediately. ”I dig,” he replied. He’d had a hard time understanding Vin for a while, but he had most of the surfer dialect under his belt by now. He sort of relaxed against Vin until the instant he realized he was doing it, then straightened up abruptly in the way that fifteen year old boys often do when they realize they’re taking comfort in the physical proximity of close male friends. ”Everything will look brighter in the morning,” he added, reaching up to rub at his neck.

His thoughts still turned to Lloyd and Naire and Myra, but his fears of somehow disappointing or upsetting them were mostly allayed. When his mind turned to Myra again, his head suddenly whipped around so that he could look at Vin as they marched toward the dorms. ”Say, do you think your sister might help me practice for Quodpot try-outs? I’m trying out this year, and she’s so good, I’d be a shoe-in if she helped me. Could you maybe ask her? I’d owe you ten.” It was something of a catch-phrase for the boy, similar to I’d owe you one only ten times more significant. If anyone ever decided to cash in on those easily offered favors, Lyle would probably spend the rest of his life fulfilling the hundreds or thousands that he’d agreed to owe his friends over the last few years.

Vance Abernathy – Marshaling the Troops

No one could say he hadn’t tried. Well, thanks to her sonic obfuscation, everyone could, actually, but more likely they’d be much more interested in gossiping and theorizing over what the conversation had entailed. Did Bellona really think she had what it took to uncover a conspiracy? Vance didn’t, but more power to her if she did. She’d think he was on his grandfather’s side most likely, or even if she sussed out that he wasn’t, she obviously had no idea what to do. He could only hope that the girl had enough sense not to start pawing around for the truth in the open. He didn’t need more savvy players joining the game just yet, at least, not on terms that he hadn’t dictated.

A curious expression came to Vance’s features when Bellona drew close and lifted his arm, removing the dragon-skin glove to reveal the gleaming mechanical hand. It was fantastic, really. As much as he hated the thing, hated being an amputee, it really was an incredible device. Bands of metal provided a tight skeleton, holding in a plethora of gears and clockwork that made the contraption act very convincingly like a hand. It was stronger than any normal hand had a right to be, and he found himself wondering exactly how long it would take to crimp Bellona’s windpipe like a plastic drinking straw with the shiny apparatus.

The only reason he didn’t strike her was the fact that he wasn’t prepared to explain why he had, or to make her disappear utterly. A sickly smile curled to life on his lips as she touched him. At least it was only on the metal. If it had been his actual skin, he might begin wretching. Bellona had sank so immeasurably in his eyes tonight that he couldn’t even begin to wonder how many other idiocies he had overlooked due to her family name over the years.

”You’re right of course, Bellona. You’re not as stupid as the other girls.” Let her think he was paying her a compliment; in truth, she’d just proven to him she was vastly stupider than the worst of them. ”Don’t say I didn’t warn you.” She dispelled the aura of buzzing and then stalked off. Vance tucked his glove under his left arm and raised his wand.

”Accio letter,” he said simply, lazily, the tip of his wand directed at Bellona. When the parchment bearing his family seal soared toward him, he snatched it neatly from the air and took a few strides toward the fireplace. He balled it up and tossed it directly into the flames, turning to regard Bellona with the most pleasant manufactured smile he could come up with. Yes, he’d wanted her to forget it all and burn it… but more than anything, he’d wanted that bit of physical evidence that something was afoot here at Magus Grex destroyed.

With that, he turned and made his way to his quarters to deal with Lee. He pulled his glove back on as he went, turning his mind toward what he’d say to the younger Arietem. His internal speech-writing was swiftly silenced when he came upon the scene in his bedchamber.

The mess was not Vance’s doing. He was reasonably sure that if Lee was going to rifle through his things, he would have set everything right afterward to avoid Vance’s inevitable wrath. His eyes slipped here and there, registering the results of what seemed to be a small whirlwind centered on his personal effects.

Another message from his grandfather? Or had the culprit actually been looking for something? Perhaps his grandfather had managed to stash some artifact or direction in his luggage, letting him smuggle it into the school for one of his followers. It had to be someone in Arietem, or possibly someone an Arietem was willing to share the password with. He tried to call to mind the faces at the table over dinner, to determine who had been missing, but he hadn’t been paying enough attention to the banal chit-chat. Stupid, he told himself. He’d be more careful now. Much more careful.

”Get your animals off my bed,” he said curtly. Vance had experienced a twinge of helplessness, beholding the disarray in the room, and it quickly transformed into cold rage. There was a reason Vance had no pet of his own; he could care less for creatures, magical or otherwise, and the idea of the dogs musking up his bed was only compounding his momentary anger.

He didn’t clean up just yet. Once Lee was gone, he’d go over the mess like it was a crime scene, looking for clues of who might be behind it. For now, he had to regain control so that he could set Lee to purpose. The boy would likely have worked out by then that Vance was surprised by the state of his room, but Vance forestalled any questions by folding his arms over his chest and regarding Lee thoughtfully.

”What I need from you, Lee,” he quietly said, continuing the earlier conversation as if there hadn’t been an intermission where Bellona attempted to wring the truth from him. ”Is loyalty. I need unfailing loyalty. I need a second set of eyes in this school to keep an eye on me. To notice jf someone stares too long, or is following me in a dark corridor, or anything else out of the ordinary.” He drew closer, and provided that the dogs were in fact off the bed, sat on the edge of it angled to face Lee.

”Can I trust you in that fashion, Lee? I know that you’ll be wondering why, but I can’t tell you more until I know more. Suffice it to say that I am in danger, and know that agreeing to help me may endanger you as well.” He took a deliberate pause, simply letting his gaze bore into Lee. ”I don’t command this of you, but I ask it, because I have to know that you’ll do everything that you can to aid me in the coming year.”

He left it at that, watching Lee carefully. He was taking a risk, he knew, but a small one. Lee’s infatuation was as much a tool as a wand. If he wielded it correctly, he could accomplish much.

#, as written by Skwidge
Teiver Morn

Teiver looked up from the mess of papers on the table before her as she heard him clear his throat. "I have to admit, studying isn't really my thing, so I'm just going to take off. Nice hanging out with you..." As he turned to leave, she had almost wanted to go over to him and stop him, which was incredibly strange, and not to mention stupid. She should just be relieved that he was finally off of her back.

So instead, she just turned back to the table, a smirk playing on her lips. "Yeah, too bad this isn't for studying." She muttered to herself, Garrison looking up at her. 'He's quite annoying, if you ask me.' Teiver rolled her eyes. "You're still in trouble. I mean seriously, what kind of cat are you? Couldn't have even warned me about him coming. You did save yourself with Herve though...." She grumbled towards the cat, rolling her eyes.

'Well, I knew you had a liking towards him, so I decided 'hey, why not?' Immediately her figure stiffened, and her cheeks warmed gently. "That's a- not true." She immediately tilted her head back down, shielding her eyes with her hair as she continued flipping through the pages. "So you decided that it'd be worth it to completely risk losing everything I've been working for for the past five years for one little encounter?" Her voice was lowered and a bit rough as she spoke.

Teiver finally found what she was looking for, holding them up to a candle to make sure. Ah, finally. Star charts for this month. Thinking leniently, she opened up the satchel at her hip, carefully rolling the papers and then fitting them in. Damn him, he successfully completely screwed me over. It's what, five minutes until curfew, and I'm here out in the open. Maybe Gar was right about just getting him out of the area. Ugh, whatever. I did get a head start on these. Once more, her gaze flickered down to the bag where she had just stored the charts.

Silently and almost in brooding, Teiver left the tower room, quickly and silently descending the steps with Garrison following her at the heels. She stopped at the bottom, taking a quick look around and seeing a few other students still talking. She basically just ignored them, making a controlled dash towards the common tower and the stairs up.

She tilted her head to the side slightly, catching sight of that Vin kid and Lyle, but she didn't give them another thought as she continued up.

Naire Harth

“You are my absolute hero!” A chuckle escaped his lips, and he smiled softly at Myra. "Yeah, sure." However, she continued on to explain herself. "Guys make me nervous.” Naire froze, a hurt look on his face. He made a shocked gasp, over-exaggerating a slow-mo hand motion to his mouth. "You mean I make you-" He was cut off though, and he smirked with another playful smile.

"It's like I can't find my voice, does that make sense?" He shrugged, looking up as Chopstick returned to his person. "Yeah, I guess so." He flashed her a quick nod. The two then finally made their way to the Vulpes Common House Painting, and he made a theatrical bow of greeting. "We are indeed well. It's good to see you again, Didimus." The old scholar in the painting merely squinted at the two. "I'll take the first one, Myra." He leaned over to her, whispering close to her ear.

"I had plenty of time for my studying, and I came across a few new discoveries, if you'd care to hear about them." You would have expected a smile from him then, but his features remained tired and stern. "Maybe another time, Didimus. We only have a few minutes until curfew. If you would excuse the rude faux pas." The man in the painting just shrugged, nodding. His weathered hands picked up a scroll, pulling the bottom down and scanning over the riddle of the week. He cleared his throat before beginning to speak.

"Think of words ending in -GRY. Angry and hungry are two of them. There are only three words in the English language. What is the third word? The word is something that everyone uses every day. If you have listened carefully, I have already told you what it is."

Naire blinked, carefully going back over what the Scholar had said. "-GRY, huh?" He became silent as he began to think. Finally, he came up with what he thought was a suitable answer. "Isn't it-" However, he was cut off by an entirely new voice.

Teiver had finally made it up the stairs, and was quickly walking towards the group. She had overheard the riddle, and taken only a minute to piece it out while Naire was thinking. She simply walked past the two, Garrison still following after her. However, he paused to look at Kaplan, flicking his ear in greeting before refocusing on Teiver. "Language." She mumbled, slipping inside of the Common Rooms without breaking her stride.

Naire had a dumbfounded look on his face, and leaned over with his back, his index finger raised, mouth open, and his eye twitching. "Kah, I was going to say that... darnit Teiver." He grumbled, straightening back up. Teiver smirked slightly at the right tip of her lips before heading straight up to the girl's dormitory without a single word.

Naire let out an exasperated breath, and then shrugged, sweeping his arm towards the painting. "Well, after you then."

Vin Magaly

Vin's arm stayed comfortably relaxed around Lyle's shoulder as they made their way towards the Commons tower. He smiled lazily to himself as he felt Lyle relax, then straighten again. Vin'd never been one to be weirded out by proximity with other males, he was too comfortable and carefree in his own skin, but he was used to this reaction from friends when he embraced them, male and female alike, come to think of it. As they rounded the corner and the 4 paintings came into view, Lyle snapped his head around and looked at him. Had Vin been anyone else he may have been startled, but as it was, he just arched a nonchalant eyebrow at Lyle in a question.

Say, do you think your sister might help me practice for Quodpot try-outs? I’m trying out this year, and she’s so good, I’d be a shoe-in if she helped me. Could you maybe ask her? I’d owe you ten.” Vin chewed on his cheek a moment, then whispered the password to the proper door. After waiting for Lyle to walk in, Vin cocked his head to the side, considering what Myra's answer might be. She tended to be rather secretive about her self-induced Quodpot practices and he'd only ever seen her play against their father. According to Daddi-o, she was pretty darn good. "Y'know, I have no clue. I didn't realize you knew Myra was good at the game. She usually keeps that pretty secret." He paused momentarily, and made his decision. Deciding he'd have some fun with his best friend first, he squinted at Lyle, "Wish I were better at it, I'd help ya out. As it is..." Vin shrugged, then smiled warmly as his friend's face grew a tiny bit concerned again. "Dontcha worry, I'll ask her. Just givin' ya hell. She'll get you all up to snuff. Shy Sis won't say no to me," He smiled confidently and patted Lyle's shoulder. "Let's catch some z's, eh? I wanna get up with the surf tomorrow." And with that Vin headed off to his dorm room, changed in his relaxed way, then crawled in to sleep.

Myra Magaly

"I'll take the first one, Myra." Naire leaned over to Myra, whispering close to her ear. Her shoulder and ear were attracted to each other involuntarily and she stifled a giggle as his breath tickled her neck, shooting goose bumps down her arm. She gave him a jokingly stern look, then nodded toward the painting, "Okay."

Myra nodded in agreeance with Naire as he politely repelled another offer of one of Didimus' extremely long stories, smiling softly. He's so good at that, she thought to herself suddenly, I can't ever deflect anyone. I can't even count the amount of times I've been stuck talking to Marcy the Mercenary on the fourth floor about her cavorts... And she's a painting! She looked at Naire admiringly, she really had missed her best friend dearly that summer. Didimus read off the week's riddle and her man began to race. She saw Naire open his mouth as he was about to hazard an answer when Teiver showed up, seemingly out of nowhere, whispered "Language," and slinked in the door. Ah, yes. That makes sense. How simple! Myra thought to herself. Myra smiled as she watched the two cats have a momentary, silent conversation. Kaplan turning his head serenely to Teiver's cat as he paused and looked at him. With a smile in her heart she bent and picked up Kaplan, snuggling him to her neck.

"Well, after you then." Myra smiled in thanks and stepped into the Vulpes commons. Looking around she was suddenly overcome with exhaustion. It had been a long day for the poor shy girl, and the yawn that struck her was large. "On that note, I guess it's bedtime," she attempted to say through the yawn. Grabbing Naire's hand with her free one, she squeezed it. "Good night, Near. I'll save you a seat at breakfast."

She turned and made her way into the girls rooms. Quickly she got undressed and readied herself for bed. After she crawled in, Kaplan jumped up and began purring immediately, curling into the C curve she made laying on her side. Scratching him behind the ears she whispered, "Not too bad for the start of the year, eh kid?"

Vin Magaly

The chill salt water sluiced off of Vin's face as he came up from another dive under a wave, his surfboard stabilized beneath him by his hands. Breathing in deeply through his nose, he pushed himself into a sitting position, one leg over either side of the board. Rubbing his face, he let his hands push up and through his hair, slicking it back in the way his mom always told him looked "so handsome!" Smiling he closed his eyes and stretched, soaking in the warmth of the sun as it was beginning to rise. Here is where he felt the most at home. In the waves, with nothing to do and no one to bother him. Keeping his eyes closed, he let his hands drop to swirl the water with his finger tips just slightly.

A swell rolled under him and he let the current lift him a tiny bit and bring him back down. A small but lovingly soft smile crossed his face. That was the ocean: his beautiful love. A fickle beast, she had the power to kill and did more often than many people knew or chose to know, but Vin knew her softer side. The side that sweetly caressed you and held you up, even when you felt as though you were falling. He'd gone "over the falls" more times than could be counted by even an army of mathematicians, but he kept coming back for more.

The next swell he felt more than heard or saw. He felt the current as it pulled away from the beach, swishing him out to sea momentarily. She was preparing to strike and he was ready. Sighing, he knew he'd have to head in soon if he didn't want to miss breakfast. Opening his eyes he saw the swell headed towards him. It would be a good end to his early morning rides. He settled onto his chest again, pulling his legs up onto the board he used his arms to turn himself back towards the shore. Just as the wave was getting near to him he began to paddle with his arms, hard, "swimming" his board toward the beach but being tugged back by the current of the infant stages of the wave. He felt the familiar rush of adrenaline as the swell pulled him up it's face, as the white foam began to grow while the swell reached it's crest and became a wave, crashing over itself. His heart raced a tiny bit as he waited for the moment, where you knew it was now or never, where the board felt just stable enough and the ocean was holding you strong in her delicate and powerful hands.

Now! In one smooth motion, Vin stopped swimming and used his hands to help push himself into a crouched position on the board, then stood. He was elated as he swooped up and down the wave, choosing not to pull any tricks but just to enjoy the ride as far in towards the beach as he could. His heart hammering in excitement and exertion while the muscles in his legs maneuvered the board, the muscles in his abs held him upright and the muscles in his arms helped him to balance. He mentally thanked his body for supporting him so well, being strong and healthy and ensuring that he could do the things he loved to do. He also made sure to send out thankful vibes to whoever or whatever had chosen to bless him with a fully functional body and mind. His breath was coming quickly, the burn in his lungs reminding him that he was alive. The rush was gone all too soon as he felt the familiar upward tug of the wave beginning to close on itself, the tunnel was forming behind him. He let himself be pulled into it momentarily, dragging his fingers along the closer wall of water while enjoying the splashes of color that played through the water from the sunrise. Then, feeling with his board the current that would pull him out he shot the tunnel and rode in front of it for a bit until, finally, almost achingly, he loosened his muscles and dropped from his board into the water.

Letting the wave roll past him, he emerged and breathed in the salty air, shaking his hair out. Pulling himself onto the board, he swam it in towards the shore until he could feel that the ocean floor was close enough for him to walk on. Sliding his board under his left arm, he walked up the shore and headed South to the front doors of the school.

Myra Magaly

Myra woke with a sneeze as Kaplan's whiskers tickled her nose. He was purring and nuzzling her face, which would have been extremely pleasant if it hadn't been for those damn tickly whiskers. Pushing him away from her gently she smiled and whispered, "I'm up, pushy." Kaplan gave her a look and jumped from the bed. Trotting over to his food bowl he sat and waited patiently. She rolled her eyes. Snuggling into bed for a moment longer, she absorbed the warmth of her blankets one last time before sighing quietly and throwing them off. Swinging her legs over the side of her bed, she opened Kaplan's food container, scooped him some dry food, returned the scoop and locked it up again.

Once she was up, she was fully awake, so she got to work. Diligently making her bed, she grabbed her toiletries and made her way to the restroom. Quickly showering and getting ready, applying a small amount of make up and dressing in a simple floral summer dress and kitten heels. Taking one last look at herself in the mirror, she approved of her outfit and hair then returned to the bedroom. Throwing her blue house robe over her arm, she grabbed her book bag and headed for the door. Turning just before she left, she blew Kaplan a kiss, "Stay out of trouble kitty cat!" With that, she quietly made her way through the Commons room. There were a few students moving about, some yawning and stretching, some sipping coffee, some studying already. Myra smiled to herself, her house's "nerd" reputation was well earned. Ducking out past Didimus, she made her way down the stairs towards the great hall.

As she was entering the hallway, something inside of her told her to stop. It was a familiar feeling, this odd out-of-body "knowing." It had been happening to her since before she could remember and there was only one other person in the world who felt it too. It was as though something was pulling her toward the front of the building. Smiling, she turned and started toward the front door of the school. Just as she was getting there, Vin walked in, sopping wet, carrying his surfboard. "Good morning!" She said brightly with an equally luminous smile.

"What up sis!" He smiled at her warmly and moved in for a hug. She backed away quickly in a smoothly serpentine move, shaking her head.

"Nope. You are soaking wet. How was the beach?"

"Bees knees sis; pure nature zen." His smile was large and relaxed, and his eyes were clear. Myra's smile mirrored his own.

"I'm glad. I'll walk you to the commons stairs." She fell in step with him as he shrugged and moved foreward. They walked in silence for a few moments. They were more comfortable with one another than with anyone else, they didn't need to fill the silence with idle, meaningless chatter. The twins were usually content to simply be in each other's presence. This time, though, Myra got the feeling that Vin had something on his mind. Then she caught Vin chewing his lip out of the corner of her eye. That, paired with the odd feeling that he had been wanting to say something but wasn't, prompted her to elbow him. "What is it?" She asked, knowingly.

"Uh... well... See, I gotta ask you a favor." He said slowly, she could tell he was piecing together his thoughts, formulating how to say what he wanted to say.

"Shoot. You know I'd do anything for you." She smiled reassuringly. Vin considered her for a minute, his eyebrows knit together slightly, then shrugged again.

"Alrighty. I told Lyle I'd ask you to help him get on the Quodpot team. Practice with him and ish. Ya dig?" Myra's smile dropped slightly as her eyes widened, Vin's closing slightly as he watched her reaction. Her mind took off, she was so shy and secretive about her Quodpot practices. How had Lyle figured out she knew how to play? She wanted to help Vin's friend out, but she could barely even choke out a 'hello' around him, much less help him with his game skills. Not to mention, what if she just made him worse? For all she knew, she wasn't good at all and their dad was just really loving and didn't want to tell her. Slowly her face morphed into a look of nervous apprehension and concern. "Look sis, calm it down. I know how you are about that stuff, but give Lyle a chance, yeah? He's really chill if he's got his mind on something. And stop thinking you're not good, Dadds wouldn't lie to yeh. Do me a solid, yeah?"

Myra looked into her "older" brother's eyes and saw the earnest question. Letting a couple of doubts fly through her head, and feeling the pounding of her heart, she finally made up her mind. Rolling her eyes at him she let out an overly-exasperated if fake sigh, "Alright, alright. But you owe me."

"You're the top, sis. Truth." He punched her arm lightly then took the stairs two at a time as the clock chimed. Shaking her head in minor disbelief, Myra decided to wait until it was time to work on actual practices before putting too much of her mind to work on the matter. Classes started in 2 hours and she wanted to get through a couple more chapters in her book before she had to make her way to a classroom. Finally making her way back into the Great Hall she looked around. Teiver and Victor were chatting at one end of the Vulpes table. She watched as Teiver's cat eyed her curiously and she nodded a greeting to it. Her stomach grumbled audibly and she was suddenly overcome by how grateful she was to have chosen the other end of the long house table to sit at. Three plates of food appeared before her, pancakes, eggs, bacon, toast, a bowl of oatmeal with brown sugar and various berries, and assorted fruits. Add with the large glass of water and a smaller glass of milk and Myra was extremely content. She would have to send a thank you to the elves for remembering just how much her slender frame could and loved to pack away, she pulled out her book and began to dig into both reading and eating.

Back to Vin real quick

Vin meandered into his room in the Ferre part of the commons tower and slid his board under his bed. After a quick shower, he put on jeans and a grey t-shirt, he threw his flip flops back on, dried his hair on a towel, and put his robe on. Plugging Mumford and Sons into his ears, he noticed the slip of paper on his bed stand just as he was leaving. Drifting over, he grabbed it and tried to discern it. Undoubtedly it was Lyle's doing, no one else in the school had handwriting that was worse than a doctor's. He could make out enough to know that Lyle seemed to be doing much better today, there was an exclamation point after all. An easy smile lit his face and he tossed the note on his bed, making his way towards the Great Hall. He caught sight of Lloyd as she left the hall and started heading towards the front doors, violin case in hand. He entered the Hall, snagged a couple pieces of toast and large glass of chocolate milk. Taking it with him, he followed her out and lounged silently against the wall of the school a respectful distance away as she played, waiting until she was done or taking a break before saying casually as he approached, "G'morning Ladylloyd. Thank you for sharing your lovely music with the world so early. That was wonderful. How's it?"

#, as written by Skwidge
Teiver Morn

A small frown formed on her lips for a moment as he answered her question based on his disappearance. So it was his father. Again. She really didn't particularly like the subject on his parents because... well anyway, she just gave him a small nod. "Mh, say no more." Teiver flashed him an almost sympathetic smile, but she always smirked a little into it.

"Well yeah, I ended up saving both of our butts, he's not going to be particularly grateful, because he isn't- well, he's a Ferre, not a Vulpes. They don't get the concept of deeper meanings. So he's bound to go snooping around again." She had simply shrugged off the extra concern written on his face as his rivalry between himself and Finn.

"Pollack didn't do anything stupid, did he?" The girl let out a minuscule laugh. "Well, for one, he ran blindly up one of the stairs, almost ran into one of the few abandoned girl's bathrooms. Which is just such a shame. It would have been a huge laugh if it wasn't abandoned; can't you just picture it? Well anyway, two he also almost ran off the side of Magus Grex. He thought I was kidding about that one. You know there are a couple of... injuries in the castle."

Teiver brought her hands up and shook them lightly. "No, no. That's alright, I'll take care of him myself, thanks." Not to mention that's going to flare up a couple of things. She thought silently to herself, a sheepish grin on her face.

However, before she could actually start eating any food, they were interrupted by a very uncouth voice. ”Morning Boris, Natasha.” She clenched her left fist irritably. By the sound of his voice and the positioning of his eyelids, he was probably drinking last night. She forced a tiny smile onto her face, looking up at him. Her wand was right on the table in front of her.

So tempting.

With that strained, tiny smile, Teiver picked up her wand leisurely. "Hey, Victor, think if I use the jelly-brain jinx on him, he'd sound and act any different?" Her now forced emotion turned into a lazy grinning smirk. Sure, she was a lot more expressive when he was around, it's what you did near- close friends. She flashed that dangerously sweet smile towards Justin, Her wand lowered and in her lap, yet subtly pointing towards him. "Garrison." Her voice was short and a little stiff.

'Yeah, thanks. I don't like him mocking me.' The cat looked up at her for a second before slinking out from under the bench, hopped on top of it, lazily leaned forward towards the other Vulpes boy, leaped up onto his shoulders, balanced for a second before gaining control, and then he slipped down his left arm. The feline then lazily looked up at him once more, then he sank his fangs right into the boy's hand.

"Stupefy." She whispered in an almost undetectable tone, sure that he was focused on her cat instead, and also probably still a little groggy. Garrison's ear twitched, and he immediately hopped off, releasing his hold on the boy as soon as she began the first part of the spell. He returned to his place under the table.

Lloyd Vrancing

Lloyd had just finished her playing, a satisfied smile on her face and her eyes closed, taking in the warmth of the early morning's sun and the fresh air. "G'morning Ladylloyd. Thank you for sharing your lovely music with the world so early. That was wonderful. How's it?" She jumped back, her eyes wide. For a split second she had thought that it was Lyle again. Only a bit of relief replaced the uncertainty as she saw it was only Vin. Even with him, it was still a bit nerve wracking to play in front of him.

"Oh would you stop doing that!? I mean, it's like you guys can't help but bloody embarrass me!!" She said in an almost whining voice. Oops, looks like someone forgot her meds again. She gave him a small smile. "Thanks though. I-I guess." She quickly put her violin back into its case and walked over to him, Dorremoon walking a few feet behind her.

"It's... good, I think?" She gave him a goofy smile, plopping down and sitting right on his feet, looking up at him with a now sweet, cheerful grin, her eyes half-closed for effect. After opening them once more, Lloyd gave him a thoughtful, naive look. "Do you know who the author and singer of the music is?" With a grin, she waited for his answer for a few moments before saying it herself.

"It's Jason Mraz. Gosh, I really love his music. It's so spunky and heart-warming. Great music, great music." She nodded resolutely, placing her hand on his shin lightly to balance herself. Now that she had a little time to think, she did recall a small fight in the Great Hall, didn't she?

She paused in her antics with Melvin's feet, a studious look on her face as she thought in trying to recall what had happened. She put her finger on her bottom lip, her lips slightly parted. Oh yeah, Delilah, wasn't it? And... that other kid. What's his face? She shrugged, but then remembered that it was a fight. Delilah was uncharacteristically violent towards him, which was obviously strange. She must be pretty upset.

Lloyd gave Vin a stray smile, patting his leg. "I gots ta go. I'll catch up with you later, kay?" She pulled herself up from his feet, picking up her case and quickly ran back towards the building. She turned around, waving back at him before returning to face the right way and dashed inside of the castle, heading straight for the bathroom she thought Delilah disappeared into.

She breathed quietly, hearing the small crying coming from one of the stalls. Lloyd felt a pang on sympathy and related a bit. So she leaned down, settling herself on the floor and unlatching her case once more. She smiled just a bit, bringing the violin back to her chin, and readying the bow once again. She played the same song, but a bit more slowly. She also softly sang the actual words in hope that Delilah could relate. Surprisingly, the lyrics were very fitting for the situation.

It helped that she was running on ADHD energy and mentality, otherwise she'd be extremely too shy about this.

Naire Harth

Naire rubbed his forehead a bit groggily, carefully leaning up in bed. He was among one or two who had refused to over-drink last night, but that didn't mean he didn't partake in a little bit. Weren't they supposed to be the smart house? He groaned, slipping out of bed silently and heading to the showers to prepare for the day.

After that bloody refreshing frigid cold shower, he shivered, stepping out and wrapping a towel around himself, dressing in tan cargo shorts and a striped t-shirt. It was like he had to be the one to get the only non-properly-working shower in the whole school for the first morning back. He sighed, running his hand through his wet hair before brushing his teeth and then went to grab his camera.

To find that it wasn't where it was supposed to be.

His eyes immediately narrowed, and before panic could set in, he made a quick assumption that it was none other than Justin who had to have taken it. He grumbled quietly under his breath and left the Vulpes area, quickly heading to the Great Hall. He spotted the guy over by Teiver and that Victor guy. He was watching all three of them like a hawk. He would refrain from going over there at the moment.

His eyebrows suddenly arched in surprise, watching Teiver mouth the words of a spell. He almost laughed, but refrained from doing so quickly. His wand was up in his hand in a moment's notice, subtly pointing towards the group in fight warily.

He spotted Myra, and put a finger up to his lips, hoping she wouldn't draw attention to himself. He put on a fake exhausted look, and slouched forward a bit, his wand leaning downwards, but still in their direction.

Myra Magaly

The fringes of Myra's mind pricked as a distraction forced it's way into her story. One moment she had a vivid mental image of a 6-legged creature, the beloved pet of the main character, bounding happily away from her towards impending doom, then (to Myra's great annoyance) there was a bunch of movement to her right and someone across the table from her. Sighing she looked up, straight into Near's clear blue eyes. She opened her mouth to great him cheerily and he sternly put a finger to his lip. Her brow furrowed as she followed the line of his wand tip, towards Teiver, Victor and Justin. Obviously faking exhaustion, Near made his way towards her and she sat up a little straighter, a frown of confusion on her face. She did as told though, and kept her mouth shut.

She watched, wide eyed, as wands started appearing around the Vulpes table from Vulpes and non-Vulpes alike. Her mouth falling open in silent astonishment at the blatant disregard of school rules by so many students. She glanced over at the head table, there were only two professors present and they weren't even paying attention. The rules, what had happened to the rules? And why in the world were the teachers oblivious. Squinting she realized it was Applebome and Ashby, undoubtedly too busy flirting to even realize anything was happening. She was earnestly considering a mass Expelliarmus charm when Justin started dancing and she snapped her mouth shut, her face immediately twisting into a mix of confusion and humor. Relieved, she ceased the movement of her hand toward her wand. She watched intently as Garrison was unceremoniously dumped onto the table in front of Teiver and wands began to disappear into robes again. She bit her lip in concern, Poor Garrison! And poor Teiver, having to watch her little guy get all tangled up. I wonder what all that was about anyway... She was pulled out of her thoughts by Naire putting his wand away and starting to walk back around toward the table to come up next to her and sit. She watched him, her finger in her book still.

"I thought you'd save me a seat! But look at this, you're taking up, like, five bloody seats!" She smiled and looked around, "How was I to know you'd be up in any sort of timely fashion this morning, boozy?" She winked at him, "Yeah, don't think I didn't know you were down there with all of them."

Myra wrinkled her nose at the coffee that appeared in front of Naire and watched as he took a large sip, practically humming in contentment. "Much better, eh? What are ya reading?" She let him take the book from her. Had it been anyone else she would have clutched it, but she trusted Near to treat her books the way she did. Even if he didn't read as much as she did, he understood her adoration of the written word. "Biting the Sun," she mumbled, "by Tanith Lee." She'd read it at least 14 times but she didn't care, it was a wonderfully amazing story that left the reader questioning and excited and dreaming up possibilities. She watched as he gingerly flipped through the pages, losing herself in the memories and musings of the books, a content smile prettily gracing her lips.

"Eh, who really cares about the House cup? Vulpes House may not win a lot, but we definitely have the most fun. Even if there are a few... bumps in the progress." The sheer blasphemy shocked her enough to squeek. "What?!" She quickly assed the situation and looked at the concerned first year. Giving Near a look to kill she turned to the kid, "I think we've gotten away without getting any points deductions, but always be concerned with the house cup. It's a challenge meant to make us all work at being proper people. Besides, how would our Quodpot team feel if we didn't win this year because of bad behavior and not because they never win games? Wait... oh god..." her face turned bright red and she just stared at the kid, "That didn't come out how I meant... I just... I meant something about their efforts... Like.. oh god. Just try your best to be good. Run along now!" She shooed him off. The first year, who had just looked sincerely confused shrugged, shook his head, smiled at Naire and ran off to join some other first years who had showed up at the end of the table.

Myra, who's face was now the decent red-purple of embarrassment, snatched the book back from Naire and began to stuff her face again. "I'm blaming that on you," she mumbled through her food, swallowing as she caught sight of Finn walking proudly towards the scuffle. She watched him discreetly, attempting to hide the blush that was now created by something else. His jeans and collared shirt fit so well, and she'd always felt the red-lining on his robe had complimented his skin so well. Her heart was beating a little too fast for her comfort, so she turned back to her food, grabbing her water and downing it. She placed the bookmark back in her book, and the book into her bag, then turned back to Naire, who was staring at her. She smiled cautiously, then cleared her throat, "Uh... aren't you hungry?" She motioned toward the empty table in front of him, "You know they'll send it up whenever you're ready."

Vin Magaly

Vin supressed a chuckle at Lloyd's dainty jump of surprise and leaned forward, elbows to his knees and chin on one hand, considering her. "Oh would you stop doing that!? I mean, it's like you guys can't help but bloody embarrass me!!" Her voice was an impertinent whine and Vin's eyebrows slowly raised, one corner of his mouth a smirking jest of her tone. He watched as she talked to herself in her head, as she did on occasion, and responded in a more calm manner, "Thanks though. I-I guess." Vin shrugged, leaning back again, "No prob babe. I speak truth." He sweeped an arm over the rock next to him, beckoning her to take a seat.

"It's... good, I think?"she questioned him. He gave her a strong, sure nod of "yes" then raised his eyebrows again, looking at the seat next to him. She surprised him then as she walked over and sat right on his feet. One eyebrow raised ever so slightly. This was new, when had she ever been this comfortable with him before? They'd jammed a couple times sure, but she usually just took off before he got a chance to really get to know her. A softly enticing scent caught his nose and he looked down at the top of her head as she looked out over the grounds. He frowned.

"Do you know who the author and singer of the music is?" Jason Mraz. The answer was in his head before she'd even finished her question, although he didn't speak. Of course he knew, he'd played the song himself plenty of times on the guitar. Thinking about it though, it had never been as emotion-filled and delicate as what she'd just played on the violin... there's so much life energy in her music, "like the instrument is a part of her, not just a hobby." Lyle's words popped into his mind and he shook his head, realizing he'd just been watching her. No bueno. He looked out over the grounds as she continued, taking his silence as a response of "no."

"It's Jason Mraz. Gosh, I really love his music. It's so spunky and heart-warming. Great music, great music." Vin could feel her warmth over the song more than hear it in her voice, and just sat, enjoying that warmth. He really didn't feel the need to respond, so instead placed his hands behind himself on the rock and dropped his head back to bask in the warmth of the sun and Lloyd's radiant aura. Almost smiling, he frowned ever so slightly when her hand caught his shin, helping her balance. He was suddenly only aware of her lithe fingers on his shin. He looked at her again, watched as she played with the laces of his right shoe, then stopped, a thought striking her. Then, before he could blink she was standing, patting him on the leg, "I gots ta go. I'll catch up with you later, kay?"

He was looking at his leg where she'd just pat him, and he squinted again, his brow furrowed. What. The. Hell, Magaly? It's Lloyd. He realized he hadn't responded to her and looked up, but she was already back at the front doors. He stared after her a moment, chewing on his lip, then jumped up and rolled out onto his back on the grass, a long sigh escaping him. As the breath left his body, he focused on all the weird energy in his body leaving with it. After a few deep breaths like this, he sat up and crossed his legs. Time to get back in touch with me, he thought and began to meditate, letting his mind take him on a sweltering hike across an unknown desert, asking himself questions about enlightenment. Eventually his thoughts grew silent and he knew he was in touch with his soul again. Getting up, he grabbed the piece of toast that had been left forgotten on the rock and began to eat it as he made his way back into the castle. Having been inspired by Lloyd, he mumbled "Accio Guitar" and waited patiently as it made it's way to him. Grabbing it, he sat down on the steps just outside the door and began to jam out, singing softly to himself.

Myra Magaly

Why was Finn so close to her? Myra could feel the warmth of his breath on her face when he chuckled at her and her cheeks grew hotter still. She was concentrating so hard on staring at the Head Boy badge on his robes that she thought her brain might pop, if it didn't just from hearing the rumble of his chest when he chuckled. He suddenly seemed so naturally masculine to her, where had that come from? She stole a glance up at him and he did it. He smiled that smile. She smiled back. Or, at least, she tried to. Hoping against hope that her face hadn't somehow become some odd grimace she found herself watching his lips as he spoke "It was good, thanks for asking." She nodded, once. "I actually got to go to the Quodpot finals in Atlanta," No way! This is brilliant! Her life suddenly felt so much easier, this she could talk about. Myra had also gone to the finals with her father. She didn't have time to feel surprised that she and Finn had not seen each other because her mind began to buzz again about Jenkins and his winning drive down the pitch, how he'd got the ball in the pot mere seconds before it would have gone off, questions about his experience started jumping up in her head and she found herself relaxing slowly as he continued, "so that was the highlight of the summer for me. Otherwise, just spent a lot of time at the beach." The beach! They had more to talk about than she had...

Merlin's beard... he was stretching and her stomach felt like it was learning how to bounce on a trampoline for the first time. She tried desperately to maintain control of her body but couldn't and this frustrated her. Why in the world was she reacting this way? She'd have to do some research in the potions books and see if there was some sort of potion someone might have drugged her with as a practical joke. She followed his eyes as he glanced over to the Ferre table. Well, that's that then. I'm probably horribly boring and he can't get away from me. He's probably looking for Bliss or Îrem, more interesting, pretty girls... She sighed daintily as the truth of her thoughts set on her. Myra looked up at Finn, mumbling, "Well I guess I'll see you la-"

"Do you mind if I sit down for a few minutes? I'm starving." It's stopped. My heart has stopped. He wants to sit with me? Myra couldn't fathom any reason why Finn Pollack, the man every girl would want to be sitting with, was choosing to sit with her. This sparked a fear in her. Every girl... He had already sat down, so there wasn't much she could do, but she quickly surveyed the Great Hall. There were at least 4 or 5 girls at each table that were staring daggers at her, including a couple Ferre's she'd helped study before. Looks like she'd lose a couple of tutoring sessions over this...

Turning back to Finn, she watched with pleasure as he filled his plate. She didn't seem to be alone in her eating habits. Smiling daintily, she released the pinch on her hand. If he was going to be natural, she could be natural, right? She moved her un-mamed hand across the table and grabbed her own pancakes. Her heart rate was slowing down as she was able to focus on her lifelong passion: food. Then Finn moaned and her heart went for a jog. She could practically hear her blood moving with each pump. This concerned her quite a bit, humans shouldn't fluctuate between stable and internally crazed so much or so quickly in one conversation. What in the world is going on with me?! she thought as she placed a small bite of blueberry pancake in her mouth, trying to think of what to say next.

"Sorry for my poor etiquette, I really like food." She couldn't help herself, she laughed, out loud, and didn't even care.

"You have nothing to be sorry for. Have you seen my plates? I live to eat. Your passion for it just reassures me that I'm not entirely bonkers for having dreams where all I do is eat and eat and eat with no remorse." I cannot believe I just said that!! He's going to definitely think I'm a basket-case now. Off to the loony bin with this one! A clock chimed and Myra turned to look at it, classes would start soon. She told herself if she could get through the next few minutes, the next time (if there even was a "next time") that Finn talked to her, she'd be prepared. She made a mental note to make a list of possible subjects to cover if ever the handsome boy sitting across from her ever deemed her worthy enough to talk to again.

As she turned back, her golden eyes were caught by a pair of deep emerald ones. She tensed ever-so-slightly, she'd never actually made eye-contact with the boy she felt so much sympathy for before, and Vance was staring straight into hers. It seemed as though he was staring straight into her soul though, contemplating and calculating. She was surprised to find she didn't see the same sadness in them that had been there before. The sadness was there still, but it was darker, buried deeper than before. And there was something more, something different... Her chest throbbed but in a different way than when she was looking at Finn. It was the sympathy she had for him, but it was encased in fright. She turned away quickly, overwhelmed by his calculation of her, because that's what it had felt like: a wolf surveying a field of sheep, and she had been the little one in the back. She shuddered. She was truly terrified of him, and yet, now more than ever she felt as though she needed to know more about him. Like a moth drawn to the flame.

"So what are you most excited for this year?" Finn's warm voice broke into her mind and her body instantly relaxed.

"Quodpot try-outs." She stated matter-of-factly as she portioned off her next bite of pancake. Her eyes widened and she looked up quickly to see his reaction. She'd never mentioned her love of Quodpot to anyone but Melvin, Emerson and Near and the words had flown out of her mouth before she'd even gotten a chance to register that she was speaking. And to a Quodpot Captain no less. She suddenly had the urge to throw herself into a lake. Putting her elbow on the table and her hand in her chin, defeated, she blew her bangs out of her face and waited for the blow of laughter that was bound to come. Alright. That's it. Let's go find Vin and have him try to teach you how to surf again. Maybe you'll really drown this time...

Vin Magaly

As Vin played the final few chords of one of his favorite songs, he began to recognize the misty haze of a ghost near him and off to the right. He smiled, knowing full well who it had to be. There was only one ghost in the school who would sit and listen while Vin jammed out. Not only that, but only one ghost in school who hid so often instead of just hovering about in their full ghost-y glory. He stood and stretched, but kept a peripheral eye on the hazy mist that was not quite the form of a woman, but would be as soon as he called her out.

"Heya Enid." He grinned as the ghost gave a startled intake of... "air" for lack of a better term, and materialized. Her plump frame hovered above the rock as if sitting on it. Her dress was all torn to shreds but hung about her as though it was simply many layers of fabric, and her hair flew out in all different directions. She had been middle-aged when she'd drowned, tossed from a ship after being attacked by pirates, or so the story goes.

"How'd you know I was here?" Enid the Elusive, one of the many ghosts that roamed the halls, asked in an almost hurt tone "No one can ever tell when I'm around." Vin simply smiled at her and shrugged. True, he was one of the very few students who knew when she was there, and he'd never really known why. He just chalked it up to being so in tune with nature. It was like his body told him she was there, so when he looked, his eyes found her immediately. He had no explanation for it, he just thanked whatever powers be that he was honored enough to have yet another talent. In one fluid motion he placed his guitar strap over his shoulder and flipped the guitar behind him, holding an elbow out to the ghost as a form of escort.

"Gonna tell me what'cha thought? You know I always value what you have to say." He asked as she put her ethereal arm through his. It floated in the gap of Vin's elbow and he let his hand over right above hers, as though holding it. She smiled at him.

"Oh Melvin, you flatterer. You really want to know my opinion?" She giggled in a ghostly way and Vin smiled.

"Of course, you've heard many types of music, good and bad. Who better to judge than someone with your experience?"

The ghostess laughed heartily, "What a kind way of saying I'm ancient!" Vin had the decency to bow his head sheepishly as they entered the building and started heading down the hall. Enid was surprised by her own laughter as it bounced off the walls and almost immediately de-materialized, then whispered in Vin's ear. "You know I love your music, boy." He chuckled as her cold wisp flew around him and passed through the wall to his right. Smirking, he could swear that he'd heard, "If only I were alive and young again..." before the ghost was gone for good. Shaking his head, he turned down the hall towards his first class, but his stomach began to grumble. He'd only really had a piece of toast, and that wasn't nearly enough for a growing boy, so he decided to make a quick pit-stop for some food on the run, and turned into the dining hall.


The masses of students standing and wandering towards their morning classes rendered surveying the Great Hall very difficult for Vin as he stepped inside, stomach grumbling it's protest against his breakfast of a single piece of toast. He caught small glimpses of groups he'd become accustomed to seeing together: The Three Amigos were wandering off in a kickline of sorts, due for Potions probably, then there was Summer and Felix the Second, goofing around as usual, and Well, that's new. Vin paused his meandering toward the Vulpes table for a moment as he caught sight of Vance and Victor. The two vipers were talking to one another in what could only be described as a conspiratorial way. He watched for a moment as he absently grabbed food off the table and popped it into his mouth. He was surprised and delighted to find it had been green grapes, instead of purple, he'd always liked green best.

Shrugging, he actually looked to the table now and piled a few "to go" items into his hand, knowing Myra would have his head on a platter if he was late to the first class of the year. Past that, she didn't seem to be her brother's keeper, but the first class proved pivotal in her opinion. Thinking of... Vin looked down the Vulpes table without much vehemence, assuming Myra had already taken off for class, it was 10 minutes before classes started after all: "late" in the Myra-speak. Again, his nonchalance was knocked off balance as he saw her, sitting across from Finn, actually carrying on a conversation. A real, respectable-looking, non-one-sided conversation with a guy! A momentary swell of pride in his sister's finally gaining the ability to branch out swelled, then was immediately quenched by hatred for Finn. He was such a play boy, with a veritable harem of women following him around, sighing and signing their names "Mrs. Finn Pollack." How dare he get Myra's hopes up by giving her this special attention? She's fragile and could easily take this as some sort of favoritism, even attraction. The proctective older brother raged in Vin, begging him to walk up and punch Finn in the face. As was Vin's nature though, he acknowledged the thought, let it through his mind, then set it aside. He wasn't one for violence in any form, preferring the teachings of Gandhi, so he breathed in the good, out the bad, and let himself calm down.

He watched, gratefully, as Lloyd wandered over and tossed a grape at Finn's forehead. "Okay, cool it." he told himself under his breath. Taking a moment to breath in and then out again, he fully regained his zen and popped a grape in his mouth as he made his way over, a lazy grin on his face. "Morning Myra!" He walked over and would have given her a noogie but she turned, eyes wide and dodged out of the way, snagging his hand with both of her dainty ones.

"I don't think so!" She giggled.

He chuckled and nodded to Finn. "G'mornin' Finn!" Then looked at Lloyd and winked a thank-you for breaking up what could have been the beginning of a broken-hearted sister, "Lively Lloyd." Then he turned back to his sister, linked her arm in his and pulled her to stand, "Aren't you late for class Little Miss Muffet?"


Myra had been pushing scrambled eggs around with her fork, waiting for the inevitable laughter from Finn at her comment about Quodpot. She waited, then looked up, and he was just smiling at her. No laughter, nothing said to make her feel defeated or deflated. On the contrary, she felt emboldened by his smile, encouraged even. Does he think I'll be alright on a team? Before she even had time to develop the thought, her blush began again, but was dropped almost immediately as a rogue purple grape suddenly came into her vision and hit Finn smack between the eyes. She was so stunned she wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry or both, so she just blinked at him, wide eyed. She followed the reverse path of the projectile fruit and found Lloyd slowly lowering hand and smiling cheekily. All at once Myra was relieved and miffed, one for the saving grace that was another human entering the conversation, the other because she'd finally had a semi-decent one on one experience with Finn. She waved weakly at Lloyd and just as she was turning to ask Finn what he was thinking, something within her told her that Vin was approaching, so, still slightly in shock from the quick change of events, she turned and looked. Her eyes growing wide as she swooped out of the way of his noogie, expertly blocking the fist she'd grown accustomed to fending off through her lifetime. "Morning Myra!" She scowled playfully at her twin. Her hair looked good on it's own today, who was he to mess it up before first period?! "I don't think so!" She giggled as she released his hand.

Waiting politely as he greeted everyone at the table, Myra shot Finn an apologetic smile. She couldn't look straight at him though, still slightly worried about what he might be thinking about the whole situation, so she began to stuff her face again. Just as she was raising a conglomerate forkful of eggs, bacon, and a tiny bit of pancake to her mouth, she found herself being pulled to a standing position by an arm linked around her elbow. She considered following the now floating fork with her mouth, but found it to be a little too unladylike in front of Finn, so she snatched the fork from her left hand with her right and defiantly shoved the food in her mouth. She shot a humorous glance at Lloyd, hoping for some appreciation of her talent, then set the fork down daintily.

"Aren't you late for class Little Miss Muffet?" Myra's mouth opened to retort against her very least favorite of all Vin's nick-names for her when what he'd said sunk in. A small "eep!" emitted from her mouth, almost as though she'd seen a spider or a slug had landed on her hand (not that either of these things would have bothered her) and turned to the clock. It read 5 till. Her heart-rate sky-rocketed. Oh no! Defense Against the Dark Arts! Professor Hughes is going to be so unhappy with me if show up late! Before she could even think about it she gave Vin a quick hug, smiled at Finn, waved a quick goodbye to Lloyd and headed off toward the DADA hall. She threw her bookbag over her shoulder as she walked, then realized how completely rude she'd just been, so she turned her head and looked back as she walked forward quickly.

"See you all lat-" She ran into something, hard. Making a dainty "oof" sound she turned, utterly embarrassed, and quickly mumbled, "I am so sorry, I was going to be late for class and wasn't watching where I was go--- oh god." Her heart sank as her eyes had drifted up the tall form of a very stern looking man, as her gold eyes met his green ones her heart stopped entirely. Utter fear and extreme thrill simultaneously shot through her system, but she wouldn't let her eyes leave his. Somehow it felt like she'd have lost a challenge if she'd broken eye contact. Despite this, a blush flushed her face and butterflies burst to life in her stomach even as every molecule in her body told her to turn and run. This is the absolute worst first day of school I've ever had in my life, perhaps simply the worst day ever. The icy dullness of shock started to spread through her body as she realized just what a horrible mistake she'd made. Her brain started flying, trying to decide on all possible outcomes of the situation, until she landed on what she hoped was the best plan of action: apologize and get the hell out of there. Pulling herself together as best she could, she reminded herself to speak elegantly because she was sure he would only respond well to eloquence. Myra spoke as levelly and calmly as possible.

"Vance, I sincerely apologize. I should have been paying attention to my destination, I was rushed due to a pressing time constraint for the beginning of class. I know this is no excuse. I won't make the same mistake in the future." And before he could have time to respond, she looked to her destination, side stepped, and walked calmly (if briskly) on her way.

When she had finally exited the Great Hall she let the air she'd trapped in her lungs escape. She felt like she might faint. If there was ever a way to get on someone's evil side it was to run smack into them. She started to wallow in her own pity, cursing herself for having been so stupid, when she noticed a familiar face she hadn't seen yet: Summer. Immediately Myra's body radiated warmth and her pace quickened a tiny bit until she'd wrapped her up in a tight hug.

"Summer! Oh, Summer! How did I not see you yesterday?" She stepped back and smiled awkwardly at Felix, unsure what to say to him. After a moment, she turned back to her best female friend, "I've missed you so much and need you now more than ever! Let's catch up on the way to Defense Against the Dark Arts, yeah?" She beamed and turned toward the classroom, her body language beckoning Summer to join her.

#, as written by Skwidge
Lloyd Vrancing

Lloyd had settled herself back down, her face just a tad more pale than it had been. Everyone got up from the table without a word to disappear up to classes. But as she thought before, it was normal for her. She then turned back to the remaining group consisting of Myra, Vin, and Finn at the Vulpes table. She barely caught Vin's wink at her, and she shrugged lightly, thinking to herself now.

The Ferre opened her mouth to ask Vin something, but abruptly closed it as he started to talk to the others. She turned back to her plate and rested her elbow on the wood, her chin propped up in her palm, blowing her hair out of her eyes. She glanced down towards her robe pocket, and her demeanor changed as her thoughts shifted, and she picked out the small watch she kept there. It was definitely almost time for classes, and she'd probably just have to catch Vin afterwards.

Well, she hoped that he'd consent, but if not she could just do it on her own. It would be a lot easier if he were to come along though. Then again, maybe she could save Naire again and drag him along instead. She shook her head lightly, then heard her own name called. "Heya." She said distractedly, then turned to watch Myra get up and leave, running into Vance.

Two. She put up her index and middle finger thoughtfully, then set down her hand.

The Ferre watched as the last few students began to depart, her figure stiffening up a bit as she watched Victor leave. She really didn't like him, he creeped her out on many levels. She just looked back down and away before turning back to Finn and Vin. Lloyd glanced at the fork to her left, tempted to stab her own hand with it. But she quickly dismissed the thought. She needed both of her hands.

So instead, she got up and stretched a bit, picking up her violin case. "Well, I'm off to class...." She announced to really no one in particular, seeing as there were only about five people left in the Great Hall anyway. The first year was still here, waiting for Finn's help and looking extremely panicked and lost. Walking towards the large doors, she began to hum a soft tune to herself.


Melvin could barely contain his laughter as he watched his twin dodge out of the great hall, bump into her biggest nightmare and slink off to class. Vin found it extremely amusing that Vance was probably the one person Myra talked about with utter terror but the dalai lama that was his sister still found it in her overly kind heart to feel for the guy as well. Vin pondered on that for a moment. The guy wasn't really all that bad, he guessed. He'd been in Vin's spot once upon a time, the brother of his twin sister, keeping an eye on her however subtly. I wonder what it would be like if Myra transferred to Beaubatons or something... Vin dismissed the thought almost as quickly as it came. His sister was his absolute best friend in the world, there was no way he'd want to finish out his years at Magus without her. If she transferred... He'd just have to dawn a wig and go with her. There was such a strong bond between twins, stronger than any other sibling pair, living without her just didn't feel right. It'd be like losing half of himself, even if she was only half a world away.

He shrugged, deciding not to dwell in sadness, and turned back to the table. Vin eyed then grabbed an un-doctored pancake and folded it like a taco. He allowed a friendly smile to cross his face toward Finn, "Sorry man, she's got this thing about classes." He really did like Finn, the guy was great, very upstanding. Really, he'd be the perfect match for his stickler-for-the-rules sister, but as it was, no one would ever be truly perfect in Vin's eyes. He'd been there for the crashes and burns that had been Myra's first few crushes. He ached when she was in pain, and it was like his "elderly brother duty" to make sure she didn't hurt ever again. Momentarily, Vin flipped the coin in his head, pictured her comforting him after a break-up or a broken heart and a chagrined smile crossed his face. Probably much better than he'd done for her, if he was honest. She'd always been better at that Florence Nightingale bit. Looking at the clock, he bit off one end of the pan-co and spoke around it, "Actually, come to think of it, I should be heading -"

"Well, I'm off to class..." Vin looked to Lloyd as she stood abruptly and grabbed her violin case, his right eyebrow lazily arching as it occurred to him she'd just finished his sentence, however slightly. It wasn't rare that she did thinks out of the ordinary, really, he'd come to expect it, but her mood had changed so much from the morning that he didn't quite understand. He watched her quizzically as she stalked out of the great hall. Shrugging, he finished off his breakfast treat, washed the remainder down with Myra's leftover milk, then flicked a salute to Finn as a farewell. Just as he was taking off after her, the clock began to chime off to his right and he sighed, "So much for getting to class on time..."

He continued his relaxed gait, even if a little speed had been added to it, and eventually caught up to Lloyd. "Hey! I'll walk to class with you. Don't think I didn't notice you there, you just get quite sometimes," he gently nudged her elbow with his own, "We're late you know?" And then he let his palm rest on the middle of her back and quickened the pace a little until they'd reached the DADA room, entering just in time for Hughes to begin his yearly speech about safety and what not. Dropping his hand from Lloyd's back, Melvin made his way over to the seat next to Myra and smiled at her. Even though she never turned toward him, her attention on the teacher, she hid her right hand behind her left and made a few quick hand signals, a type of sign language they'd created together when they were young, "You're late." Vin shrugged, then turned towards the teacher, ready to zen out during class, as usual.

Lyle Brightham - Unsuccinctable


*This post written in collaboration with Throne*

Lyle's shoulders were slumped as he made his way out of the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom. No one had the ability to make him feel nearly so stupid as Professor Hughes did, and the man had outdone himself today. First a speech about the importance of this year, how critical it was to their futures in the Wizarding world. The O.W.L.s were upon them, and he expected at least an E from everyone (his eyes had seemed to linger on Lyle, at that moment, and if he'd been a basilisk, the poor boy certainly would have turned to stone). They'd need that grade to continue with their studies on the subject, and without a N.E.W.T... "Well," he'd said, smirking, "We'll always need people who can wash out a cauldron." Even though his conception of the future didn't include many battles with Dark wizards, Lyle couldn't help but feel like the man meant it as advice for him. He'd performed even more miserably that usual during the day's lesson, the Shield Charm, which Hughes had stressed was the foundation that the rest of the year's studies would be built upon. Many students had perked up when he'd gone on to produce a Patronus, a stately lion in silver, but to Lyle, it had just been another example of something he'd never be able to do.

Vin couldn't help but notice his friend's silence as they wandered down the teeming hallway, led by their stomachs towards the scent of lunch. Class had started out promising enough, but as the lesson had progressed Lyle had grown quieter and quieter. Melvin'd picked up the Shield Charm with relative ease, so he'd spent a good portion of the class tossing water balloons at Lyle to deflect. Wrinkling his nose with a tiny bit of guilt he looked at his buddy, who was almost soaked through. Vin knew there wasn't really much he could do to make Lyle any better at charms, butif he could share his adeptness for it, he would in a heart beat. As it was, he'd continued tossing the small, multi-colored, jiggly balloons in Lyle's direction and cringing with each new watery pop.

Lyle didn't say a word, he just trudged along at Vin's side, staring at the ground with an uncharacteristically grim expression on his usually impish features. Lyle's face caused another small stab of guilt somewhere in the pit of Vin's stomach, so he formed a plan. Just because you weren't good at a shield charm didn't mean you couldn't have fun with the learning process. Subtly removing his wand from his robes, he whispered "Accio water balloons". He quickly stashed his wand and let his left hand extend behind him, waiting patiently. Soon enough, a small pewter cauldron half-filled with colorful projectiles was whizzing its way down the corridor, the handle of which connected with Vin's hand just in time for him to grab it. Nudging Lyle on the shoulder, he looked over, a gleam in his eye as he maneuvered the balloons in between them steathily.

"Hmm?" Lyle thought he'd heard his friend say something, but it hadn't quite penetrated the gloom that surrounded him. He looked up and over, puzzlement settling into place on his face as he regarded the balloons Vin had assembled. "It's no use, mate, I'm useless. It doesn't matter how much I practice, I'll just end up wet as ever." He mustered a smile, though, and it came much more easily than he'd been expecting it to. Friends like Vin could turn a day like this around in a heartbeat.

Vin raised a relaxed eyebrow with a quirk bringing the corner of his lips up, "Who said these were for you, mate?" Casually winkinging on the last word with an atrocious mimick of Lyle's native accent, he nodded towards his laughing twin and her best female friend. They were both as dry as the dust bowl, having mastered the charm with ease and precision. Vin had understood the charm, sure, and been able to cast it well enough to deflect the balloons of doom, but his savant of a sister had outdone herself, already able to shield another person and multiple people with a flick of her wrist. He shrugged as he looked back to Lyle, "She can't block 'em if she doesn't see 'em comin', right?"

It took a few seconds for Lyle to get it. His thought process was almost a visible thing, eyes tracking through the air like Vin's words had been scrawled there for him to make sense of. Vin chuckled as he watched the cogs turning in Lyle's head, Wait for it... He knew Lyle'd figure it out quick enough, they tended to think along the same lines.What did it matter who was throwing the balloons at him, he was still utter rubbish when it came to shielding the- "Oh," he said aloud, when he got it, and then "Ohhhhh." Vin's sinful smile grew, "There you go, bra." Lyle was soon mirroring Vin's wicked grin, for he was a mutable boy if he was anything. It never would have occured to him to distract himself from his own sorrows with a prank, but now that the idea was posed, he was no longer imagining what his life might be like scrubbing out cauldrons for the rest of his days.

It was as if the spunky lad had transformed. Lyle's expression got very furtive, too furtive, and he was so obvious about trying to sneakily take hold of a few of the ballons that there was nothing sneaky about it whatsoever. If there had been some army-issue helmets lying around and a fox-hole to dive in, he would almost definitely have made use of them. Walkie-talkies, too. And code-names. If only they'd had time to assign code-names! As Lyle fumbled a second balloon and had to pick it up, Vin chuckled, then gave a "don't mind us, just fumbling water balloons here" kind of shrug toward a few 4th year girls who had begun watching them. One of the girls giggled and the group began tittering and wandering off another direction. Just as well, Vin knew how many of the younger... well even the older girls appreciated and looked out for Myra. Yep, it was definitely time to take her out. She would kill him, but he was bigger and stronger and won 9 out of every 10 of their sibling wrestling matches. She was going down. Summer, unfortunately, would be a casualty of war. It couldn't be helped.

With his right hand, Vin pointed two fingers, together, straight into the air, then bounced them lazily in the direction of the balloons, then back up and in the direction of Myra and Summer. His best "covert ops" sign-language probably didn't read all that well, in hindsight, due to his rather relaxed nature when it came to pretty much anything. The only sharp movements Vin ever made were on his surf board, generally. Lyle got that much, though, and nodded his understanding. After all, it was... basically just the plan. Throw their water ballons at the girls. Vin set the cauldron down, readying two ballons of his own as Lyle silently mouthed the countdown: three, two,- Vin meanwhile looked over to the girls, chatting and laughing as they turned towards the great hall, not a clue in the world- one!

"Fire in the hole!" the Ferre bellowed, remembering the phrase from a Muggle film he'd seen once. Oops. So much for the element of surprise. Vin couldn't help but laugh, blowing their cover open even wider. Neither boy was the malicious sort, it was just fun, plain and simple. Glancing at one another and nodding in unison, they let loose with the ballons, sending one, two, three, four of them sailing through the air toward the pair of girls. All there was left to do with their payload discharged was stand their and wait for the inevitable splash, grinning like idiots.

Unfortunately, it seemed that the ruckus they'd made had caught the attention of more than just the gaggle of girls from fourth year, Myra and Summer had abruptly ceased their conversation and turned to watch the balloons as they divorced from the boys hands. As shock registered accross Summer's face, perhaps even a tiny bit of fear, Myra simply smirked and gave them a look that could only be described as lovingly scornful. Without batting an eye her wand had been in the air, and flicked with a quick movement of her lips. The boys looked crestfallen as the balloons did, indeed, explode upon impact. Unfortunately, the impact was made with an invisible forcefield of air that had been conjured by Myra's perfect shield charm. The water dripped to the ground as the balloon fragments slid down the shield that covered not only Myra, but Summer and a few innocent bystanders. Then, things turned for the worse as Myra's eyes seemed to focus on the cauldron in between the boys and she smirked, her own wicked flame springing to life in her eyes. Vin, though relaxed, had teh good grace to widen his eyes in surprise as she looked at Summer conspiratorily, who nodded in acquiesence. Then, flicking her wand once more, Myra cast a silent spell. Vin looked at Lyle with a question written on his face, then his eyes grew wide as the remaining balloons, one by one, soared into the air above them and began pummeling the boys with perfect precision. The balloons traced perfect arches to different marks on their bodies, hitting their marks with almost frightening accuracy.

Lyle and Vin were laughing as they brought their hands up to feebly defend themselves from Myra's much more skilfful assault. It was no use, of course; when all the ballons were spent, both boys were completely drenched, and a small lake had formed at their feet littered with tatters of rubber in every color. Other students coming to or from the Great Hall shrieked or laughed, dodging or standing and watching as the bit of mischief backfired horribly on the pair of Ferre. Their wet robes clung to their bodies, heavy, but with another oddly synchronized look-and-grin combination to one another, they charged toward Myra and Summer, cackling wildly as they launched themselves at the girls.

Myra's triumphant laughter gave way to a playful squeal of faux-terror as she grabbed Summer and turned to run, well aware of what was coming. Unfortunately, they weren't fast enough. Lyle went for Summer, Melvin for Myra, and the boys wrapped them each in a very amused, very wet hug from behind. It was only a few seconds, but that was all they needed to get the girls a bit wet. Feminine protests abound, the girls wriggled around and squealed happily until the boys peeled away, still laughing themselves, and bolted toward the Great Hall before the girls could muster any further reprisal.

"Thanks, mate," Lyle imparted, a bit out of breath after their antics, as they slowed down. "I needed that." As they were both wet, it hardly mattered that Lyle slung a skinny arm around Vin's shoulders. Vin nodded, his breath coming in excited beats, "For sho' man. You can't get all down on yourself 'cause of some silly class. Ya dig?" Vin found a spot at the Ferre table. His voice came out in a deep rumble as he adopted his best "king-like" tone and stated, proudly, "We fought our battle hard. We were not victorious, but now we feast!" Piling his plate high with various lunch foods, he patted the seat next to him, leaving a small puddle of water from his robe's sleeve.

Lyle dissolved into a bit of a giggle-fit at Vin's idea of a royal proclamation. The one-sided water balloon fight had innervated him, restoring his usual supply of giddy energy. He performed a little bow, flipping his hand about before sweeping it low (and in the process, sending droplets of water to splash anyone nearby). "As you command, m'Liege." He plopped his bony bum down on the bench beside Vin and began piling plenty of food for himself, unable to stop grinning all the while. Sharing occasional laughing glances, they tucked in.

Victor Calza

Nothing out of the ordinary, indeed, Victor thought as Delilah reduced the swelling and the redness in her hand. There wasn't too much she could do about the redness in her face, though. He suspected it wasn't entirely a result of the fall, as that sort of thing happened to her quite often.

"Of course," he said in response to her thanks. "I'd be willing to wager that by the end of this class, we'll have some far more entertaining mishaps than a simple fall." It was a safe bet. Transfiguration was nothing to scoff, especially in the seventh year. There was a very good chance that more than a few students would end up in hilariously odd looking half-transformations.

"I did," he said, regarding the note, "I would gone to speak with you then, but I was preoccupied, as I'm sure you saw. I probably should have talked to you, though, instead of wasting my time with Abernathy." He spoke the last sentence with a mild, but controlled amount of scorn. It came off something like annoyance. Not like something was truly bothering him, but indeed as though he had simply wasted a morning. "I have the book back in my quarters. I could... meet you in the library after classes today, if that works for you?"

It occurred to Victor that neither of them had had very enjoyable mornings, as his eyes momentarily settled on Sam Halford, who had recently taken his seat. Of course, it would have been wholly unwise for him to inquire about that, as that was a very personal subject, he was sure, and Victor and Delilah weren't really at that point in terms of a friendship.

With that, class began, and Victor directed his full attention to Professor Ryther.


By lunchtime, Victor's meager breakfast seemed completely inadequate, and so he dug in eagerly upon reaching the Vulpes table. He'd hardly began eating, however, when the call of 'fire in the hole!' had his wand in hand under the table, and an annoyed look glancing in the direction of the sound. He'd expected Flint and Hardy, but wasn't fully surprised upon seeing the Ferres Brightham and Magaly lobbing water balloons in the direction of the Magaly girl and the younger Turner sister. He couldn't help but smirk to himself when Myra expertly defended not only herself, but everyone around her, with a well cast shield charm, before making turning the pranksters' weapons against them. She was becoming quite the witch, he noted.

A potentially annoying scene averted, Victor returned to his lunch.